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US to Deploy PAC-3 Missiles by Year End
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Washington has recently notified Tokyo that it will deploy Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles in Okinawa, southern Japan by the end of the year and Japan plans to accept it, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Monday, quoting government sources.

The surface-to-air PAC-3 missiles are to be deployed at the Kadena Air Base or the US Air Force's Kadena Ammunition Storage Area in the Okinawa prefecture, to defend US forces in Japan from possible threat of missiles from North Korea, the report said.

The United States notified Japan about the deployment plan on June 17 at a meeting in Hawaii about missile defense. Japan plans to accept the deployment arrangement in principle, according to the sources.

The missiles, with an effective protective range of tens of kilometers, will complement the Standard Missile 3 missiles installed on Aegis-equipped ships.

Some additional 500 to 600 US troops are expected to be deployed along with three or four PAC-3 missile batteries, the paper said.

Japan's Self-Defense Forces will also deploy PAC-3 missiles at Iruma Air Base in Saitama prefecture by the end of fiscal 2006, and at Kasuga Base in Fukuoka, Gifu Base and Hamamatsu Base in Shizuoka prefecture by fiscal 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2006)

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