U.S., Japan to Work on Missile Defense; Successful Test Completed

June 24th, 2006  

Topic: U.S., Japan to Work on Missile Defense; Successful Test Completed

TOKYO Japan and the United States signed an agreement Friday to expand their cooperation on a joint ballistic missile defense shield, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced.
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 ministry said in a statement.
The agreement had been previously negotiated and was not triggered by the current fears that 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 two countries have been negotiating for some time," said Foreign Ministry official Saori Nagahara.

On Thursday a Navy ship intercepted a medium-range missile warhead above the earth's atmosphere off Hawaii, the military said.
The USS Shiloh detected a medium-range target after it was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, then fired a Standard Missile-3 interceptor.

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