Japan on Thursday approved the supply of missile interceptor parts to the United States and the transfer of sensor-related technology to Britain, the Defense Ministry said, in the first major deals since Tokyo eased a ban on arms exports in April.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, facing a rancorous territorial dispute with China, took a series of steps this year to lift some of the constraints Japan's pacifist Constitution imposed on its security policy, by relaxing weapons export curbs and ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad.

His government gave the green light to the export of gyroscopes used to help U.S.-developed Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile interceptors tail their targets precisely.