div class=”story-para”Japan set up its second ballistic missile interceptors at an air base east of Tokyo on Nov. 29, the Defense Ministry said, as part of its efforts to strengthen defenses against neighbor North Korea./div div class=”story-para”Two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) launchers, capable of shooting down incoming missiles in the final stage of flight, were deployed at the Narashino base in Chiba, about 25 kilometers (16 miles) from central Tokyo./div div class=”story-para”Japan first deployed interceptors at a base north of Tokyo in March, after North Korea fired a ballistic missile in 1998 that flew over Japan. Last year, Pyongyang fired more missiles and tested a nuclear device./div div class=”story-para”Japan is scheduled to deploy interceptors at two more locations near Tokyo by the end of March next year./div div class=”story-para”With a relatively short range of 20 kilometers (12 miles), the interceptors are likely to be deployed to protect political and financial hubs./div div class=”story-para”A newspaper reported Nov. 25 that Japan would conduct drills next month to move the missile interceptor equipment into central Tokyo in times of emergency, although a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said nothing had been decided./div div class=”story-para”Japan plans to test its first ship-based anti-ballistic missile interceptors off Hawaii in a joint exercise with the U.S. in the week of Dec. 17./div

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