Japan will deploy more Patriot surface-to-air defense missile for defense against North Korea
Defense News - Japan
Saturday, 11 December 2010, 08:30 AM
Japan will deploy more Patriot surface-to-air defense missile for defense against North Korea.
Japan will deploy a larger network of land-based U.S. Patriot PAC-3 systems to ensure effective defenses against North Korean ballistic missiles, a draft defense document says.
U.S. United States Army Patriot MIM-104 surface-to-air defense missile system
The White Paper on national defense, an annual revision of the country's basic defense program, is expected to be adopted by the end of 2010 to reflect the recent crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Patriot missiles were previously deployed only at three air bases in Japan but in the near future additional systems will be placed on all major Japanese islands, the draft document says.
North Korea became one of Tokyo's biggest security worries after it test-fired a long-range ballistic missile over Japan in 1998, prompting Tokyo to begin researching missile defense.
Japan's determination to boost its missile defenses was strengthened after Pyongyang conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in July 2006, and an underground nuclear test explosion three months later.
Japanese military is particularly concerned about N. Korean medium-range ballistic missiles with the flight range of 1,300 kilometers.
Japan is one of the 12 nations that have selected the combat-proven Patriot system as a key component of their air and missile defense program.