The government on Wednesday began considering exporting Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air guided missiles made in Japan under license from a U.S. company to the United States.

Japan is poised to lift its ban on the export of finished defense equipment made under license from foreign entities by revising its guidelines on defense equipment transfers as early as Friday.

At the same time, the government is expected to make a decision to allow the export of PAC-3 missiles to the licenser country under the revised guidelines.

The U.S. has been asking Japan for PAC-3 missiles, according to sources. The arrangement would mark the first time for Japan to export any weapon in a finished product form that meets the definition under the Self-Defense Forces law.

Previously Japan has exported warning and control radar equipment in finished form to the Philippines, in the only instance so far of defense equipment being transferred abroad in finished form from Japan.

The current defense equipment transfer guidelines allows Japan to export to the U.S. components made under license from U.S. companies.

So far, Japan has only exported to the U.S. PAC-2 missile guidance equipment as well as parts for F-15 fighter jet engines.

The revised guidelines would allow the export of finished products to any licenser countries including the U.S. These countries will be allowed to provide them later to a third country without a combat area.