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Japan deploys Patriot units in Tokyo to guard against possible North Korean missile launch

  • 1cf3804ef386820b2e0f6a70670021f3.jpg

    Japan Self-Defense Force members work near a unit of PAC-3 deployed at Defense Ministry in Tokyo early Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Japan has deployed missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo as a precaution against a possible North Korean ballistic missile tests. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCEThe Associated Press

  • d48aed10f386820b2e0f6a7067006608.jpg

    This aerial photo shows units of Japan Air Self-Defense Force's PAC-3s deployed at Defense Ministry in Tokyo Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Japan has deployed missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo as a precaution against a possible North Korean ballistic missile tests. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCEThe Associated Press

Japan has deployed missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo as a precaution against possible North Korean ballistic missile tests.

The Patriot missiles, called PAC-3s, were deployed Tuesday at Japan's defense ministry headquarters and were also to be deployed at bases farther away from central Tokyo.

Japan has taken similar measures before previous North Korean launches. It has never actually tried to shoot down a North Korean missile and was not expected to try to do so unless there was a clear threat to Japanese territory.

North Korea is believed to have moved ballistic missiles to its east coast, possibly in preparation for a test launch. That has further raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula amid threats by North Korea and large-scale war games involving U.S. and South Korean troops.