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Japan readies missile defence system in response to North Korea rocket launch

Tokyo, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

Tokyo, Mar 24 (ANI): Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka has said that the country has ordered missile defence systems to be prepared in response to the planned launch of a North Korean long-range rocket in April.

The defence systems would be deployed near the island of Okinawa to shoot down the rocket should it threaten Japanese territory, The BBC reports.

"I have ordered officials to prepare to deploy the PAC-3 and Aegis warships," the report quoted Tanaka, as saying.

According to the report, the Japanese parliament also passed a resolution condemning the launch.

North Korea recently announced that it would launch a long-range rocket mounted with a satellite to mark the 100th birthday of its late leader Kim Il-sung.

The announcement drew widespread criticism that the launch would violate UN Security Council resolutions.

The resolutions were imposed after a similar launch in April 2009. Japan is particularly concerned as the last North Korean rocket was launched over the country. (ANI)

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