Japan intends to allow the United States to export a collaboratively developed missile interceptor to other nations, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported today (see GSN, Jan. 3).
In a bid to bolster its ties with Washington, Tokyo would prepare terms enabling the United States to field the Standard Missile 3 Block 2A interceptor in Europe and elsewhere, according to officials. The Obama administration's "phased adaptive approach" for European missile defense would involve fielding SM-3 interceptors around the continent beginning this year (see GSN, Dec. 22, 2010).
Japan would continue prohibiting sales of armaments to communist bloc nations, countries under U.N. weapons sanctions and governments mired in international troubles, the officials indicated.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to receive formal notification of the plan during talks later this week with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, the insiders said.
The updated rules would be formulated with input from Japan's Defense, Foreign, and Economy, Trade and Industry ministries, the sources said (Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10).