Okinawa to install permanent missile interceptors

Updated: 2013-04-12 15:30


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TOKYO - The Japanese government on Friday said it will permanently install a missile defense system in the country's southernmost prefecture Okinawa to cope with threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to local media.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors at two SDF bases in Okinawa "as soon as possible within April," reported Japan's Kyodo News Agency.

The SDF used to temporarily install the PAC-3s in the island prefecture to respond to the DPRK's rocket or missile launches.

The government planned to carry out the permanent deployment by fiscal 2014 but it was brought forward due to the DPRK's recent announcement that it would launch preemptive attack against the United States, including US bases in Japan that are mostly located in Okinawa.