The Defense Ministry carried out a ballistic missile interceptor drill Wednesday night at Expo Park in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, the third such exercise in a public space and the first in western Japan.

The drill, which was open to the press, involved the Air Self-Defense Force's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system, which is designed to shoot down missiles that elude interceptors launched at sea from Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers.

Similar exercises were conducted in two Tokyo parks.

About 50 Self-Defense Forces personnel and 20 vehicles from the ASDF's Hakusan post in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, were mobilized for the Osaka drill.

They carried launchers into a parking lot adjacent to the Tower of the Sun monument and checked the system as well as communications links with radars and fire-control equipment.

PAC-3 interceptor units are deployed in 13 locations around the nation, including Aibano in Shiga Prefecture and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture. The PAC-3 batteries in Okinawa were deployed permanently in April.

Due to their short range, Patriot missiles cover a limited area.