Japanese troops practice intercepting missiles with the US-made Patriot missile system. This exercise was held after a series of North Korean missile tests were deemed to have endangered Japan. Photo/US Indo-Pacific Command
Japan uses a missile defense system surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) made in the United States (US) in an exercise that took place Monday.
It marked the fourth exercise this year and the latest by Tokyo forces since Pyongyang’s military test-fired multiple ballistic missiles earlier this month.
According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, the 12th Fire Unit, 4th Air Defense Missile Group and 6th Air Defense Base Air Self Defense Squadron (JASDF) conducted “deployment maneuver” training in Fukui Prefecture–a prefecture that hosts dozens of nuclear reactor.
The exercise featured the US-made PAC-3 missile defense system, which normally forms the layer of a low-altitude missile defense regime.
Such drills ensure the JASDF is ready to deploy interceptor missiles at short notice. This was conveyed by Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, assistant professor at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.
“Japan has a dual-layer missile defense system which is essential to defend against North Korean missile attacks,” he told NK NewsTuesday (29/11/2022).
“The problem is Japan’s current missile defense system is insufficient to intercept advances in missile technology, and saturation attacks by adversaries including North Korea, are leading to the demand for more sophisticated missile defense systems.”
Fukui Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto has previously asked the country’s military to increase its presence in his prefecture, which is home to no fewer than 15 nuclear reactors.