The pact, signed by Foreign Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, commits them to joint production of missiles to intercept incoming missiles.
The agreement had been previously negotiated and was not triggered by the current fears that U.S. North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile. There has been speculation that the United States could try to intercept the missile if it is fired, the AP reports.
The pact allows the transfer of ballistic missile defense technology from Japan to the United States - a touchy issue in Japan, which has long adhered to a self-imposed ban on arms exports in line with the spirit of its pacifist constitution.
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