Japan and the United States have signed an agreement to encourage cooperation on developing a missile defense system.

Japanese Defense Minister Yoshinori Ono signed a memorandum of understanding Friday in Tokyo with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker.

Under the agreement, Japan and the United States will exchange information on research, deployment and operations of a missile shield.

The agreement comes one week after Japan adopted new defense policy guidelines that would allow the joint development of a missile defense system with the United States.

The five-year defense outline allows the sale of missile defense components to the United States for production of a missile shield. Japan says other arms export cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.