Japan's Tough Choices As North Korean Missiles Fly

Sep 18, 2017

With North Korean missiles zooming overhead, how does Japan prepare, defend and respond? Japan’s tough challenges, military and diplomatic.

South Korea’s on the very front line. The US takes the heat and promises, lately, “fire and fury.” But the country in the middle of all this is Japan. For the second time in weeks last week, sirens blaring in northern Japan – Hokkaido – as a North Korean missile flew over. Missiles North Korea promises to tip with nuclear weapons. Japan is the only country to have been hit with nuclear bombs. Hiroshima. Nagasaki. This hour, On Point: US ally Japan, and the threat from North Korea. — Tom Ashbrook.


Motoko Rich, Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times (motokorich)

Thomas Berger, Boston University professor of international relations and a fellow at BU’s Pardee School of Global Studies

Yuki Tatsumi, senior associate of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center in Washington

Tom’s Reading List

CNN: Japan split over how to deal with North Korean missile launches — “… underneath the calm exterior, Friday’s launch has widened a growing fault line in the ideological war over how Japan should deal with the North Korean threat to the region.”

The New York Times: North Korea’s Threat Pushes Japan to Reassess Its Might and Rights — “… officials in Japan who may have considered intercepting the missile faced two immediate constraints: The country’s missile defenses are limited, and the Constitution limits military action only to instances of self-defense.”

The Guardian: Latest North Korea missile test ends South’s talk of engagement — “For some diplomats there is a fear that mounting sanctions are not deterring Kim, and are only incentivising him to speed up his programme. The danger is that North Korea’s physicists are working to an altogether different and faster timetable than the New York diplomats.”

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