Japan deploys 1st Patriot missile defense system

Japan began deploying its first advanced Patriot missile defense system Friday near Tokyo, part of an effort to accelerate missile defense capabilities following North Korea's missile and nuclear tests last year, officials said. The installment comes about a year earlier than originally scheduled. Two PAC-3 launchers have arrived at the Iruma Self-Defense Forces base in Saitama, just north of Tokyo, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity. Last month, the US military deployed its newly operational detachment of Patriot missiles at a base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, where most of the American troops in the country are based.