JAXA has spent the last six years developing a new small satellite launch vehicle designed to be launched much quicker and significantly cheaper than its retired predecessor, the M-V rocket. The solid-fuel Epsilon launch vehicle, which will be capable of placing up to 1.2 metric tons into low Earth orbit, is set for its maiden flight in August or September of this year.
The following information is taken from the JAXA website.
The Epsilon Launch Vehicle is a solid propellant rocket suitable for a new age, delivering both high performance and low cost. Based on the M-V Launch Vehicle, a multistage solid propellant rocket with the best performance in the world (discontinued in 2006), we try to achieve improved performance with the Epsilon Launch Vehicle, and build a system which will allow the frequent launch of launch vehicles by largely-reducing operational costs through enhancing aspects of operational efficiency, such as assembly and inspection.
Through increased launch opportunities, we anticipate that space development activity will increase. The biggest goal of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle is to make space more accessible as rocket launches are made easier.