Japan's Patriot games in face of N Korean threat

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Japan's Patriot games in face of N Korean threat

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There is a heightened state of alert in Japan, where a Patriot anti-missile battery has been set up in the grounds of the Defence Ministry in central Tokyo, and others at strategic sites all over the country.

The government said it was focusing intelligence gathering efforts on North Korea, and that the US and Japan were sharing their findings.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that they are putting 100 percent of their efforts into the safety and welfare of the Japanese people, and those were the Defence Minister’s instructions.

The Patriot missiles are pointing west, towards North Korea.

One passer-by, Sakina Kannari, looked into the Defence Ministry compound and said: “The fact that these weapons are so close by is really scary. It sends a chill down your spine.”

Others though remained sceptical about the threats from Pyongyang. Another Tokyo resident said: “Let’s see, but I don’t think there is any chance they will attack.”

Intelligence sources in the region and in the United States believe that North Korea has moved an unspecified number of Musudan missiles to positions on its east coast, and that two of them might be prepared for launch.