Japan's leader vows to protect his people from missiles

Tourists enjoying themselves along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam in the Pacific

In the escalating war of words with the United States, North Korea has threatened to launch four missiles over Japan to waters around Guam, where a key US military base is located.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors were deployed in Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures, which North Korea said its missiles could cross over, as well as Ehime which is located between Hiroshima and Kochi.

Tokyo is considering deploying four PAC-3 missile interceptors to shoot down any North Korean missiles that stray into Japanese territory while flying over the country on their way to the US Territory of Guam, according to government sources.

Japan was on Saturday deploying its Patriot missile defence system after North Korea threatened to fire ballistic missiles over the country towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, reports said.

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The PAC-3 deployment is created to prepare for a contingency if any North Korean missiles malfunction and come down over Japan for technological or other reasons.

Immediate confirmation from the defense ministry was not available but an official at the crisis management office of the Kochi prefectural government said the PAC-3 had been deployed.

A destroyer equipped with radars and the Aegis missile defense system, which can destroy short- to medium-range ballistic missiles, has also been sent to the Sea of Japan to monitor the North's military activity.

"I will do my best to secure our people's lives and property", Abe said without elaboration. In 2009, a North Korean rocket passed over Japanese territory without incident or any attempt to shoot it down.

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