TOKYO, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Japan has decided to grant a three-month extension to an order for its military forces to shoot down any projectile heading toward the country's territory, in anticipation of potential missile launched by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), local media quoted government source as saying on Tuesday.

The order, issued by Defense Minister Tomomi Inada in August, is apparently aimed at ensuring that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) is ready to intercept projectiles at any time as the use of mobile launch pads could make DPRK's missile launch preparations difficult to detect in advance.

The order is set to expire early this month, said the source.

The Defense Ministry does not make public the issuing or cancellation of the orders, which under the SDF law are given in response to either a recognized threat that a projectile could reach Japanese territory or an unspecified threat in volatile circumstances, reported Kyodo news agency.

Japan issued the first known intercept order in 2009, when Pyongyang launched a missile ostensibly to send a satellite into the Earth's orbit.