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Japan to Spend US$1 Bln on Missile Defense System

Japan will pay about US$1 billion in the next nine years for the joint development of the next-generation interceptor missile with the United States, the Yomiuri Shimbun Daily reported Thursday.

The figure is one-third of the total cost of the project, the report said.

Japan plans to introduce a missile defense system consisting of land- and sea-based missiles as early as fiscal 2006.

The next-generation interceptor missile is based on the US SM-3missile and will be carried on Aegis-equipped destroyers, the daily said. Japan now has four such warships.

In the project, Japan will be responsible for the development of the nose cone and a two-stage starter motor, while the United States will make a kinetic warhead and a device that detects infrared rays to identify and track targets, the paper reported.

(Xinhua News Agency December 15, 2005)

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