Thank you for letting us know - that is a very interesting new layout. It's hard to predict what Google will do. They will probably be testing each layout according to its users and be deciding from there. If the new home page is very popular in Japan it could be tested in other countries.
Welcome to WebmasterWorld suzukik. Good to have you with us.
Thanks for pointing out the change. It's also noted in the Google Japan Blog [googlejapan.blogspot.com] as well.
This new change reminds me somewhat of the animated Google Korea front page [webmasterworld.com] we saw introduced last year. Although the Japanese version lacks the pizazz of the Korean icons it appears that the purpose is similar. They're letting the local public know what they have on offer. In both the Korea and Japan markets Google is not the leader and they have more incentive to advertise their diverse service packages. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button just doesn't convey that. ;)