For the first time in 13 years, Japan's space agency on Monday started recruiting new astronauts to carry out missions on the International Space Station and participate in a U.S.-led lunar exploration program.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency aims to finish the recruitment drive by February 2023, accepting applications through March 4 next year. Applicants selected after initial screening will go through four rounds of examinations, according to JAXA.

Soichi Noguchi (R) waves while shaking hands with countryman Akihiko Hoshide before boarding the SpaceX Crew Dragon to depart the International Space Station. (Photo courtesy of JAXA)(Kyodo)

Details about the recruitment are available on the JAXA's website. While no experience in space or related fields is required, JAXA is seeking applicants with at least three years of work experience as of the end of March 2022.

"We would like applicants to show us their work experience regardless of the form of employment whether it be permanent employment, contract work, self-employment or a research job," the agency says on its website.