Japan to Begin Missile Defense Development With US
Japan’s Defense Agency Chief Yoshinori Ohno says Japan has completed the joint technology research stage on a missile defense system it has been researching with the United States, and will include several billion yen (tens of millions of dollars) in its next fiscal year budget to start developing the system. Kyodo News also quotes him as saying they would also like to expand the scope of the missile defense system, so it will have the capability to respond to decoys that are used to avoid anti-missile interceptors.
Production will begin following a five-year development phase that ends in fiscal 2011, but Ohno also stressed the need to develop and produce the interceptor missiles as soon as possible. Ohno said Japan and the United States would jointly carry out the first missile interception test for the sea-based Standard Missile 3 interceptor next March in Hawaii. Agence France-Presse: Japan Aims to Start Missile Defense Development with U.S.
UPDATE: The test went well, and the release describes a number of the technologies involved.