TOKYO (Sputnik) – Last week, North Korea's military announced plans to fire four missiles in waters off Guam by mid-August, noting that if fired the missiles would fly over the Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hirosima and Kochi. On Saturday, the Japanese Defense Ministry deployed the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air, anti-missile systems in these prefectures.
The broadcaster added that the government will also hold a briefing for representatives of all Japanese prefectures regarding the emergency measures. Besides, it has requested local authorities to thoroughly check all the equipment for receiving urgent information.
In February 2016, when North Korea declared its plans to launch a ballistic missile that it claimed to be a satellite, the Japanese government adopted the same measures and since then remained on high alert.
The tensions surrounding North Korea have been high over recent months and have escalated further following the tightening of economic sanctions against North Korea by the UNSC on August 5, in response to Pyongyang's July launches of ballistic missiles.
Pyongyang vowed to use any means possible to retaliate against the United States after the UNSC approved the new US-drafted sanctions. US President Donald Trump, in turn, warned that if North Korea continued making threats or possible actions that they would be met with "fire and fury" from the United States. Following the statement, Pyongyang said it considered an attack near the Pacific island of Guam, where several US military bases are located.