Photo Credit: US MDA / Lockheed Martin / YouTube screen capture
Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-missile defense interceptor unit launched during THAAD testing on Oct. 24 2012 by US Missile Defense Agency

Japan has deployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) anti-missile defense interceptor unit at the Hakodate base on the southern end of the northern island of Hokkaido.

The government called last week’s move “a precaution” after the second of two North Korean ballistic missiles flew over the island a week ago, both in less than a month.

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Japan owns 34 of the PAC-3 anti-missile defense system interceptor batteries. Four were recently deployed to the southwestern part of the country after Pyongyang threatened to attack the U.S. territory of Guam, according to the Times of India.

The PAC-3 anti-missile defense units are the second of a two-step defense system deployed by Japan which starts with Standard Missile-3 interceptors launched from Aegis destroyers in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. Should those fail, PAC-3 batteries become the backup.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.