Japan-U.S. Cooperation on Ballistic Missile Defense: Issues and Prospects [March 19, 2002] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "The issue of missile defense cooperation with Japan intersects with several issues of direct concern to Congress, ranging from support for developing a capability to protect U.S. regional forces, Asia-Pacific allies, and Taiwan, from Chinese short- and medium-range missiles, to countering a possible future threat to U.S. territory from long-range missiles developed by North Korea. Japan's current participation in the U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) program dates from August 1999, when the Japanese government agreed to conduct cooperative research on four components of the interceptor missile being developed for the then U.S. Navy Theater-Wide (NTW) anti-missile system--a sea-based 'upper tier' (exo-atmospheric) capability against short- and medium-range missiles up to 3,500 kilometers. In the spring of 2001, the Administration changed the context of the cooperative research effort when it reorganized and redirected the U.S. missile defense program to emphasize the employment of specific technologies across the entire spectrum of missile defense challenges, but especially to gain a limited, near-term capability to defeat missile attacks on U.S. territory by 'rogue' states. The Pentagon redesignated the NTW program as the Sea-Based Midcourse System, with a goal of developing a capability for attacking missiles of all ranges in the initial or middle phases of their flight path. This change added to an already complex list of Japanese policy concerns, by putting Japan in the position of possibly cooperating in the development of technology that could become part of an American national missile defense capability -- a step that many Japanese see as transgressing a constitutional ban on 'collective defense.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL31337
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/