Japan on Tuesday moved surface-to-air interceptors on the northern island of Hokkaido to a base near recent North Korean missile flyover routes.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera was quoted as saying by AP that Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor unit was deployed at the Hakodate base on southern Hokkaido "as a precaution" as part of government preparations for a possible emergency.
The Defense Ministry moved PAC-3 batteries to Hiroshima and three other prefectures in western Japan in August after North Korea threatened to launch ballistic missiles over the U.S. territory of Guam.
The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air interceptors were moved to a Ground Self-Defense Force camp in the city. The interceptors are designed to shoot down ballistic missiles before they land and are there to back up Japan’s sea-based Standard Missile-3 systems if they fail to intercept their targets in outer space.