updated 8/23/2006 7:58:06 PM ET 2006-08-23T23:58:06

Washington has offered to provide Tokyo with up to 80 more advanced Patriot interceptor missiles for deployment in Japan in the wake of North Korea's missile tests last month, a news report said Thursday.

Japan's Defense Agency will take up the offer in fiscal 2007 to accelerate the already planned deployment of the advanced missiles on American bases in Japan for the first time, Kyodo News agency reported, citing unidentified individuals familiar with U.S.-Japan relations.

The agency had planned to domestically build the missiles under license in fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009, but is now set to request $99.7 million in the fiscal 2007 budget for procuring them from the U.S., it said.

Washington and Tokyo have been working to jointly develop a missile defense system and last month agreed to expand cooperation on a joint ballistic missile defense shield, committing themselves to joint production of interceptor missiles.

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