Thursday, April 5, 2012

Asia Times Online :: Japan sets sights on Pyongyang's launch

TOKYO - As North Korea ramps up preparations for its planned mid-April launch of an "earth-observation satellite", Japan, South Korea and the United States are rushing to prepare weapons that could shoot it down.

The Japanese government is deploying warships and a missile shield to destroy any long-range missile that threatens its territory. "We must take all possible measures to protect Japanese lives and property," Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said in response to North Korean missile launch plans, at the Ministry of Defense initiation ceremony on April 2.

To activate Japan's missile defense system and intercept the missile or any debris from it, the minister has ordered the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to deploy land-based PAC-3 interceptors to a total of seven locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area as well as on the Okinawa, Ishigaki and Miyako islands in southwestern Japan.

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