The Administration has announced ambitious plans for the development and deployment of the SM-3 missile in filling in the missile gap, which has been created by the planned withdrawal of the missile defense system to have been deployed in Central Europe.
SM-3 is a development program which includes a major contribution from Japan: http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/rtnwcm/groups/rms/documents/content/rtn_rms_ps_sm3_datasheet.pdf.
Our sources in Tokyo tell us that the new Japanese government is rethinking in significant ways their relationship with the United States which might well include the SM-3. Indeed, one of the more interesting notions is taking a co-developed missile from the US alliance with Japan and deploying it at the heart of the confrontation with Iran in Europe. Perhaps there are some issues here worth further consideration.
***Posted October 24th, 2009