Japan could legally intercept a Guam-bound N Korean missile: Onodera

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A PAC-3 Patriot missile unit is seen deployed in the compound of Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Thursday.  Photo: AP/Shizuo Kambayashi

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told Thursday’s parliamentary session that a missile attack on the U.S. territory would breach the U.S. deterrence against an attack on Japan. He said that would be a Japanese national emergency because it would threaten Japan’s existence as a nation.

He said Japan in that case can exercise the right to “collective” self-defense and activate the Aegis destroyer ship-to-air missile defense system.

Onodera’s comment underscores Japan’s growing military role and reverses its previous position that it can only shoot down missiles headed to Japan.

A defense law that took effect last year allows Japan’s military to defend U.S. and other allies when they come under enemy attack.

According to North Korea’s stated plan, its Hwasong-12 missiles would fly over Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures, on their way to Guam.

Experts say Japan does not currently have the capability to shoot down a missile flying over its territory headed for Guam.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source  :  Japan Today

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