Japan Defense Minister Tomomi Inada ordered the dispatch of the Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier Izumo on Monday to protect a U.S. Navy supply vessel in the Pacific, the sources said.
The United States has sent the Navy's Carl Vinson carrier strike group to waters near the Korean Peninsula, amid signs North Korea could test-fire more missiles or conduct a nuclear test.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile Saturday, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in the Sea of Japan on the same day and conducted a joint drill with MSDF destroyers and another one with South Korea's navy.
The sources said the Izumo will leave Yokosuka base in Kanagawa, southwest of Tokyo, on Monday morning, and join the supply ship off the Boso Peninsula in Chiba, east of the capital. The vessels will sail to the Shikoku region in western Japan. Read more here.
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