Japan could legally intercept a North Korean missile headed towards Guam, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Thursday in remarks reported by Kyodo news service.
Onodera told a lower house of parliament committee that Japan would be allowed to hit a missile headed towards the U.S. Pacific territory if it was judged to be an existential threat to Japan, Kyodo said. This is a reiteration of the Japanese government’s position.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday Japan will continue to cooperate with the United States to take specific steps in strengthening their defense systems against North Korea‘s growing missile threat.
North Korea dismissed on Thursday warnings by U.S. President Donald Trump that it would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States as a “load of nonsense”, and outlined detailed plans for a missile strike near the Pacific territory of Guam.
Suga said the Japanese government is ready to evacuate its citizens in the event of an attack on a foreign country, or Guam – a popular destination among Japanese tourists.