Japan should continue to loosen its restrictions on military exports to allow its own technology to be sold overseas, a former defense minister said as the country prepares to export missiles to the United States in the first transaction of its type.

Itsunori Onodera, who is spearheading the move to enable defense exports from the long-pacifist country, said he would press ahead with ruling coalition discussions on broadening the scope of allowable exports.

"It would be best for us to develop technology and have it used widely around the world, rather than just taking on the manufacturing,” Onodera said in an interview Friday.