• Kyodo News

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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Japan last week to export a new type of ship-based missile interceptor under joint development by Tokyo and Washington to third countries, presumably European, sources close to Japan-U.S. relations said.

Gates’ request could lead to a further relaxation of Japan’s decades-long arms embargo and spark a chorus of opposition from pacifist elements in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and one of its coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party.

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