The Defense Ministry plans to deploy warships closer to North Korea to improve its ability to detect a rocket launch by Pyongyang, sources said Wednesday.
The ministry failed to obtain information in a timely fashion on a North Korean rocket launch in April.
The plan also calls for Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers equipped with the Aegis air defense system to use information from U.S. early warning satellites and enhance cooperation with U.S. Aegis-equipped warships, the sources said.
The ministry hopes to compile a report in early June covering the deployment of Self-Defense Forces units, intragovernment communications, cooperation with relevant local governments and the missile defense system.
In response to North Korea’s warning issued in March of an impending rocket launch, the ministry deployed three Aegis-equipped destroyers in the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, as well as antimissile batteries in the Tokyo metropolitan area and on islands in southwestern Japan.