The Japanese Government plans to deploy interceptor missiles at air bases across the nation to counter the threat of North Korea’s ballistic missiles.

The new defence policy, to be approved later this month, specified that all six Aegis destroyers be equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors, according to Kyodo News.

The SM-3 sea-launched interceptors are designed to intercept an enemy missile before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

The number of MSDF escort ships will also be increased from 47 to 48, while major operational aircraft will be trimmed from 350 to 340 due to the larger size of transport planes.

Japan also plans to increase the number of submarines from 16 to 22 for enhanced vigilance in the south-west to deal with North Korea and to deter China.