JAXA, or Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is the institution that makes and launches the Japanese spacecrafts; both satellite for the communication and navigation systems and the research devices. Such devices seem to be small and efficient.
Japan launched its first satellite in 1970 with the L-4S rocket by ISAS. Unlike solid fueled rockets, Japan chose a much slower path with liquid fueled rocket technology. In the beginning NASDA used American models in license. The first model developed in Japan was the H-II introduced in 1994.
By 2010, the most ambitious mission by JAXA is called Hayabusa, and included the round-trip to the asteroid Itokawa. The automatic device was launched 2003 May 9. Then, 2005 November 19,
Hayabusa landed on the asteroid and scratches samples of its "ground" to the special capsule.
On 2010 June 13 June this capsule had returned to the Earth, landed at Australia and then delivered to the Curation Center at the Sagamihara Campus (Japan). The apparatus could not bring stones from different sides of Itokawa, but small particles were detected in the returned capsula; perhaps, they are from the asteroid. Up to October 2010, the chemical content of these particles is not reported. The JAXA site and Wikipedia describe the embarrassing details of that trip.
July 6, 2010. Small particles found in the sample container of the HAYABUSA.
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20101007p2a00m0na010000c.html Dust in Hayabusa asteroid probe capsule could be extraterrestrial. October 7, 2010. ... the research team collected some 100 particles that are smaller than 0.001 millimeters in size from the inner cylinder of the capsule, called the "sample catcher," and concluded some of them may be cosmic materials. The particles, which are invisible to the human eye, were collected by remote control using a special Teflon spatula -- about 6 millimeters long and 3 millimeters wide -- and examined with an electron microscope.
Barbara Goss Levi. Chip off the old block: Meteorites are definitively linked to stony asteroids. 2011 October, p.12-13.
The Hayabusa spacecraft might well be called the little spacecraft that could.. ..the spacecraft managed to deliver back to Earth a capsule containing a wisp of dust (at least 1500 micron-sized particles) from the asteroid's surface..
Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI"
The device 'AKATSUKI' is created for the investivation of Venus and launched 2010 May 21.
The novel design of the propeller is used on the device. Use of the silicon nitride (Si3N4)
with high decomposing temperature (more than tho thousand Kelvin) allowed to increase the emission speed of the fuel, improving the efficiency.
http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2010/07/20100706_akatsuki_e.html JAXA. Orbit Control Maneuver Result of the Venus Climate Orbiter 'AKATSUKI'. July 6, 2010 (JST) .. As a result, we have successfully performed on-orbit verification of the ceramic thruster, made of silicon nitride (Si3N4) for the first time in the world.
The solar wing is used by the Ikaros satellite to provide the space travel in the Solar System without consume of fuel. (However, the conventional launcher is still required in order to reach at least the orbit around the Earth.
The change from the specular reflection to the diffuse reflection and back at the controlling panels of the wing is used to handle the orientation of the device. The special cameras were launched to get pictures of the wing working; these cameras confirm the successful deployment of the solar wing and the efficient operation. [1,2]
The Russian analogy, sputnik "Yubileyny" was declared to change its orbit due to violation of the Law of Conservation of Momentum in the special device (inertioid) called gravitsapa  and seems to be just fraud.
http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/f17/index_e.html IKAROS successfully controlled its attitude using liquid crystal device. July 23, 2010. The Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS" performed an attitude control experiment of the solar sail using an attitude control device, or the liquid crystal device, on July 13, and JAXA confirmed that the attitude control performance was successfully accomplished as planned.
The liquid crystal device is attached to the solar sail for attitude control to change the reflection characteristics of sunlight by turning on and off the power of the device. With this function, the sail can control its attitude using only sunlight pressure without any additional propellant.
http://www.jspec.jaxa.jp/e/activity/ikarosleaflet.pdf IKAROS leaflet (PDF:1.3MB)
Russian scientists test perpetual motion machine in space. 14.04.2009.
The satellite that spend most of time above some fixed point of the Earth is called Quasi-Zenith Satellite. (Should not be confused with the "geostationary satellite", which stays all the time above the same point of the Earth, but this point always is at the Equator).
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite MICHIBIKI was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.18 on Sept. 11.
http://www.jaxa.jp/index_e.html MICHIBIKI injected into the quasi-zenith orbit with its center longitude of about 135 degrees. September 27, 2010.
The First Quasi-Zenith Satellite MICHIBIKI, which was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 18 on Sept. 11 (JST,) has been maneuvered to shift its orbit from the drift orbit to the quasi-zenith orbit starting on the 21st. The satellite is now confirmed to be inserted into the quasi-zenith orbit over Japan with its center longitude of about 135 degrees through the final orbit control performed at 6:28 a.m. on Sept. 27.
We will carry out initial functional verification of the satellite including the onboard devices for about three months in cooperation with organizations for technological verifications.
http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2010/09/20100927_michibiki_e.html Parameters of Michibiki