Japan may urge the United States to be prudent in its plan to deploy a national missile defense system, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Wednesday.

“The fact that the U.S., our ally, plans to deploy such a system may be all right, but we must avoid a situation in which such systems expand throughout the world,” Fukuda said in an interview with news organizations.

“Depending on developments, we may have to say something to the U.S.,” the top government spokesman said.

Fukuda said that although he understands Washington’s wish to deploy the system as deterrence against ballistic missile attacks, he hopes the deployment will not prompt other countries to set up similar systems.

U.S. officials said in Washington on Tuesday that the administration will dispatch Richard Armitage, U.S. deputy secretary of state, to Japan next week to brief Tokyo on U.S. President George W. Bush’s plan to deploy the system. He will be in Japan on Monday and Tuesday before going to South Korea later in the week.

The missile defense plan envisages a defensive screen for the entire U.S. that would track and destroy incoming ballistic missiles.

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