Japan opened a missile defense drill to the public on Wednesday, a move it says will reassure the country it is ready to counter any missile attack by neighboring North Korea.
A PAC-3 Patriot battery drove on to the Asaka Self Defense Forces base near Tokyo, deployed its radar antenna and raised its missile launcher to firing position. The drill is one of four being held across Japan.
"Making this public is a way to reassure people about their safety and bring peace of mind," Akinori Hanada, an Air Self Defense Force major, told reporters.
North Korea has pushed ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this month North Korea's advancing weapons programs were the "most urgent" threat to national security and that its means to deliver them had increased in speed and scope.