Japan Reportedly Holds Drills With PAC-3 Air Defense Missile System in Nagasaki
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) conducted military exercises on Friday with the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptor in the Nagasaki prefecture, local media reported.
The drills were carried out at Sasebo base and became the first in incorporating the PAC-3 system in southwestern Japan, the Jiji press media outlet reported. Some 30 JASDF servicemen brought the necessary components and equipment from the Kasuga base to set up the system, the news outlet added.
The procedures were double-checked to practice a response to a missile attack, according to the media outlet.
Located on the Japanese island of Kyushu, Sasebo hosts bases of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the US Navy.
The PAC-3 is a high-velocity interceptor that can defend against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and planes.
After World War II Japan adopted the Yoshida Doctrine, according to which Japan would rely on the US for its defense, renouncing the deployment of its own military forces.
In recent years, Japan has been pursuing a goal of amending its pacifist Constitution, with the country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing a plan to revise the charter by 2020.
Japan's strive for its own military forces is prompted by the provocative actions of North Korea, which has recently launched its most advanced ballistic missile, a rocket which, according to Pyongyang's military, is able to strike targets in mainland US.