Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Japan Deploys Own Ballistic Missile Defences

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air interceptors is transported to Iruma air force base of Japanese Defence Ministry at Iruma city in Saitama prefecture, suburban Tokyo, 30 March 2007. Japan on 30 March deployed its first ballistic missile defence system managed by its own military amid concerns over North Korea, which tested missiles and an atom bomb last year. Photo courtesy AFP
by Shingo Ito
Tokyo (AFP) March 30, 2007
Japan on Friday deployed its first missile defence system in the Tokyo area one year ahead of schedule as its relations remain tense with nuclear-armed North Korea. The United States last year installed Japan's first anti-missile system on the southern island of Okinawa, but the interceptors deployed Friday were the first installed by Japan on its own.

Two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air interceptors were installed early Friday at the Iruma Air Self-Defence Force base in suburban Tokyo, a defence ministry spokesman said.

The ministry plans to deploy the US-developed PAC-3s, which can cover a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius, at a total of 11 bases in eastern and western Japan by March 2011.

"We would like to go fully ahead with our plan," Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma told a news conference.

Kyuma also said his ministry would speed up deployment of a missile defence system on its Aegis warships to give Japan a two-phased anti-missile shield.

The ministry deployed the launchers, designed to protect the capital Tokyo, earlier than initially scheduled in response to North Korea's launch of missiles in July and its nuclear test in October.

"We had initially planned to complete the deployment by March next year, but we accelerated the plan following North Korea's missile launch," the defence ministry spokesman said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has built his career campaigning for a tough line against North Korea, particularly over its past kidnappings of Japanese civilians.

Jiji Press, quoting an unnamed source, said his government had decided to extend tough sanctions against North Korea when they expire in mid-April to keep the pressure on Pyongyang over the abductions.

The continued tough line would come despite an increasingly conciliatory approach by the United States, which has agreed to a six-way deal providing fuel aid in return for North Korea freezing its nuclear programme.

Japan has taken the hardest line at the six-way talks and has refused to fund the deal, saying it will not help North Korea until the kidnapping dispute is resolved.

Japan says the secretive Stalinist state abducted Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s to train its spies.

Abe has also championed a greater military role for Japan and is seeking to revise the pacifist constitution imposed by the United States in 1947. Due to the constitution, Japan calls its military the Self-Defence Forces.

Friday's deployment was the first by Japan's military of a missile interceptor since World War II.

The United States separately deployed its own Patriot anti-missile system last year in Okinawa, raising protests among some local leaders opposed to the US troops.

Japan and the United States started working on a more advanced missile shield after North Korea in 1998 fired a missile over Japan's main island.

Last week, the Japanese government approved emergency response guidelines that will allow the armed forces to fire interceptor missiles without the prime minister's prior approval.

The new guidelines will allow the defence minister to order the interception of incoming ballistic missiles.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
Learn about missile defense at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

EU Foreign Ministers Await NATO-Russia Talks On Missile Shield
Bremen (AFP) Germany, March 31, 2007
EU foreign ministers will await NATO talks with Russia before formally discussing US plans to install parts of an anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, the German foreign minister said Saturday.

  • US Military Chief Given Unprecedented Access In China
  • Indian Plans Naval Wargames With China, Japan, Russia, US
  • EU Dreams Of Common Army
  • Chairman Observes Chinese Land Combat Exercise

  • Iran Warns UK Over Politicising Crisis As Splits Emerge In Tehran
  • US Carrier Deploys In Gulf As Iran Complains Of Incursions
  • Iran Moots Gulf Defence Alliance
  • No Progress Reported In North Korean Banking Row

  • India Says Air-To-Air Missile Tested And BrahMos To Be Deployed
  • System Monitors Health Of New Composite Military Missiles
  • Pakistan Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile
  • Boeing JDAM Scores Direct Hit In Extended Range Tests

  • EU Foreign Ministers Await NATO-Russia Talks On Missile Shield
  • Russia Denies Readiness To Host Missile Shield
  • Japan Deploys Own Ballistic Missile Defences
  • US Offers To Boost Missile Cooperation with Russia

  • NASA Seeks New Research Proposals
  • Germans Urged To Give Foreign Travel A Rest To Curb Global Warming
  • Raytheon Team Proposes Single International Standard In ADS-B Pursuit
  • NASA Signs Defense Department Agreement

  • Northrop Grumman Gets 287 Million Dollar Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Systems Contract
  • Boeing Prepares First US Military ScanEagle Crews
  • Israeli Air Force Unveils Long-Range Drone
  • New Technology Expands Air Force Combat Capability

  • An Iraqi Plan To Oust Militias
  • Moqtada al-Sadr's Long Game
  • Flickers Of Hope In Iraq
  • US Wounded Rates Rise In Iraq

  • KC-X Players Set For Opening Day
  • US Air Force To Develop Revolutionary Engine
  • Hybrid Electric Future Heavy Truck Begins UQM Propulsion System Testing
  • Northrop Grumman Successfully Completes F-22 Radar Flight-Test Certification

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement