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Japan to accelerate missile plans

After N Korea's tests, Japanese officials decided to step up their defence plans.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2006 13:19 IST

Japan has decided to accelerate its missile defence plans after test launches by North Korea raised regional security concerns, a news report said on Saturday.

Three surface-to-air missiles used to intercept incoming missiles will be deployed in 2007, a year earlier than planned, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The PAC-3s (Patriot Advanced Capability 3s) were initially due to be deployed in metropolitan areas by the end of March 2008, followed by deployment in rural areas.

But officials decided that it was necessary to set up the interceptor systems far sooner after North Korean missile tests on Wednesday raised security concerns among the Japanese public.

North Korea, without warning, test-fired seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2, which quickly crashed into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), but which has a range capable of reaching Tokyo.