Japan, seeing lower threat from North Korea, withdraws anti-missile units: Report

PHOTO: Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors (PAC3) are unveiled to media during a training in Erimo Town, Hokkaido on Oct. 31, 2017. Japan Self-Defense Forces has prepared for North Koreas ballistic missile.PlayThe Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images
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Japan has withdrawn missile interceptor units it deployed last year as officials in the country believe the risk of North Korea firing a ballistic missile has fallen, Japanese media reported.

Japan put the five Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor units into position around the country in August and September, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, amid a period of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea last year fired two ballistic missiles over Japanese territory.

PHOTO: Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors (PAC3) are unveiled to media during a training in Erimo Town, Hokkaido on Oct. 31, 2017. Japan Self-Defense Forces has prepared for North Koreas ballistic missile.The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images
Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors (PAC3) are unveiled to media during a training in Erimo Town, Hokkaido on Oct. 31, 2017. Japan Self-Defense Forces has prepared for North Korea's ballistic missile.

Japanese defense officials think the North is less likely to fire more missiles following President Donald Trump's meeting last month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, NHK reported.

Last month, Japan withdrew destroyers that it had deployed to the Sea of Japan to fend off the missile threat from North Korea, according to NHK.

PHOTO: A PAC-3 surface-to-air missile launcher unit (C), used to engage incoming ballistic missile threats, is seen in position at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on March 6, 2017.Kazuhiro Bogi/AFP/Getty Images
A PAC-3 surface-to-air missile launcher unit (C), used to engage incoming ballistic missile threats, is seen in position at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on March 6, 2017.

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