Japan will deploy its Patriot anti- missile defense system in both Okinawa and around Tokyo to guard against this month’s planned rocket launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The defense ministry said the rocket is expected to fly over islands in southwestern Japan, but there is also a need to protect the capital city of Tokyo. The Patriot missle defense was reportedly deployed at the Ground Self-Defense Forces’ training fields in Narashino and Saitama around the capital.
Ships carrying PAC-3 missile interceptors set out for Okinawa from a naval base in Hiroshima, Defense Ministry spokesman Takaaki Ohno said. The move follows an order issued by Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto over the weekend.
Pyongyang said last weekend it will fire a rocket between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22 to put a satellite into space.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda urged DPRK to “exercise self-restraint” and called for close cooperation with the U.S., South Korea, China and Russia to push Kim Jong Un to abandon the plan.