Friday, November 30, 2007

Defense: Japan deploys advanced Patriot missile launchers near Tokyo

Japanese officials have said Japan has deployed advanced Patriot missile launchers at an air base near Tokyo to bolster the ballistic missile defense shield for the nation's capital.

The People's Daily reports two PAC-3 launchers were deployed at the Self Defense Forces' Narashino base, just east of Tokyo, according to an official at the Defense Ministry. She refused to say whether missiles have been deployed with the launchers, saying that was classified.

This is a second deployment of the PAC-3 defense system in the Tokyo area. The first was set up at Iruma base in March. There are two launchers there as well, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Japan plans to deploy the PAC-3 defense system at 9 more bases by March 2011.