The Cabinet gave its final endorsement Friday to initiate joint technical research for a U.S-proposed ballistic missile program, Defense Agency chief Hosei Norota said.

The green light paves the way for an exchange of diplomatic notes between Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and U.S. Ambassador Thomas Foley, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Defense Agency and the Pentagon detailing the contents of the research, Defense Agency officials said.

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