PAC3 missile defense units to be withdrawn

PAC3 missile defense units to be withdrawn

Japan's Defense Ministry is considering withdrawing missile interceptor units from the country's northern and western regions as early as Monday amid an easing of tensions with North Korea.

The ministry deployed PAC3 interceptor missile units to 4 prefectures in western Japan after North Korea said in August it would fire ballistic missiles toward waters off the US Pacific territory of Guam.

In September, the ministry deployed an additional PAC3 unit to the city of Hakodate after missiles launched by the North flew over southern Hokkaido.

Ministry officials told NHK that North Korea is less likely to fire ballistic missiles after it held a summit with the United States last month.
But the officials also said the ministry will maintain its order to destroy any incoming missiles. They added that the ministry will be ready to quickly redeploy the PAC3 units if the situation changes.

The ministry is expected to retain a PAC3 unit at its compound in central Tokyo.

At the end of last month, the ministry withdrew Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers equipped with the advanced Aegis radar system from the Sea of Japan.