Japan deployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptor system at the Takeyama base in Yokosuka, just southwest of Tokyo Jan. 30, military sources told AP. Yokosuka is the site of Japan’s largest naval base and homeport of the US Seventh Fleet. PAC-3 systems were installed at two other bases near Tokyo last year, and eight more are slated to be deployed around the nation. The fourth will be deployed at Kasumigaura in Ibaraki by the end of March. While the first three are deployed to protect the capital, they will have to be moved closer to Tokyo to be effective in the event of attack.
Japan also plans to begin installing Standard Missile-3 interceptors on its destroyers. In December, Japan successfully test-fired its first SM-3 from an Aegis radar-equipped destroyer off Hawaii. Additionally, last February the US military deployed PAC-3 missiles at a base on Okinawa. (AP, Jan. 30)
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