Japan’s Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu has ordered the Self-Defense Forces to destroy any incoming ballistic missiles.
Hamada issued the order on Monday after North Korea announced its plan to launch what it calls an artificial satellite between May 31 and June 11.
Japan’s Defense Ministry says Pyongyang may be planning to launch a ballistic missile under the pretext of putting a satellite into orbit.
Hamada’s order would allow the SDF to destroy a North Korean ballistic missile that is likely to fall within Japanese territory.
It calls for the objects to be shot down using SM3 interceptor missiles from Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers in the East China Sea, and the land-based PAC3 system in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan.
The missiles would be destroyed in airspace over Japanese territory, its exclusive economic zone and in high seas near the country.