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Japan wakes up to N Korean missile warnings

44 Comments
By Hiroshi HIYAMA

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© 2017 AFP

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44 Comments
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Wow, just imagine what would've happened had Kim launched one over Kanto at about 8:00 during the peak rush hour!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Alarmist rubbish.  Take cover indeed.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

At a U.S. military base in Tokyo, Japan deployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile defense system as part of a previously scheduled drill.

"Practising this kind of drill allows us to maintain our fast response system in the event of a ballistic missile launch and to strengthen the force of persuasion, not only by our country but also by the U.S.-Japan alliance," Hiroaki Maehara, commander of Japan's Air Self-Defense Forces, told a press briefing.

But did they launch to intercept the missile? No. Why not? Yes it passed overhead, but it could have hit Japan... and the defence systems were idle. When WOULD they launch?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Cancelling the trains does seem a little bit alarmist, remembering that after Hiroshima trains were still running. Duck and cover that's just to make people feel they have a chance. More concerned about public speakers not functioning and the advice to, in 4min flee to a public shelter that no one knows where it is? 1 missed overshot ICBM has caused so much panic. Think that's the lesson on the home front. Should a serious attack happen Mobil services/ TV interrupted I fear total panic.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The missile should never have been allowed to enter Japan air space... why wasn't it shot down?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The missile should never have been allowed to enter Japan air space... why wasn't it shot down?

Agreed 100%! Something very strange going on here.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan needs its own nuke NOW...

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

What’s a reckless provocation by foolish fatty Kim Jong-un? Now he is threatening to Japan by launching missile over Northern Japan because the silly fatty was scared to launch missile attack on Guam.

Why the Japanese SDF didn't shoot down the Missile?

I’m a bit concerning and wanting to know about whether the Japan and US missile defend system was covered all over Japanese territories or only covered over important cities and Government buildings.

The sanction does not work unless the Chinese Government and the Russian Government sincerely cooperation with the UN and the US, Japan and S. Korea Government.

The US President, Japan PM and S. Korean President need emergency meeting ASAP and decide and agree for military action over the N. Korean Kim Jong-un sooner or later.

War is a terrible thing, but sometime war was needed for to get peace. We must understand the world doesn’t safe as long as Kim Jong-un was alive because he won’t go exile and the evil will use those nuclear weapons and ICBM on Japan, S. Korea and United State and Australia as well as whoever against his regime.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japanese might as well go back to bed and forget about the alarm. Their leadership is all about talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, and more talk. No matter how many times China's military planes fly close to or cross into your airspace, or their naval ships roam into your territorial waters - you do nothing but talk. No matter how many rockets, missiles, etc fly over your land, thru your airspace, or land in your waters - you do nothing but talk. You now have no legs to stand on. Your complaints about China / North Korea have no weight behind them because those countries know you will not do anything to back up the empty words.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The answer to one simple question should form your response to these events: What is Pyongyang’s only objective?

(Hint: survival)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I am actually wondering if the missile could have hit a commercial plane in its path. This is an extremely dangerous game to be playing because accidents can happen and if it does then the Government of Japan and the US will have no choice but to respond. That could lead to a full scale war. Pretty crazy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The missile should never have been allowed to enter Japan air space... why wasn't it shot down?

I read these comments and wonder how many of those who say these things were the same ones who thought that President Trump's statements are the reasons for these actions and we were better off with someone other than him.

This event took a long time to make happen, and not just since Jan 20th.  NK's missile program has had years of growth under supposed sanctions where nothing has happened.  Remember, the war never really ended just a cease fire.  They have violated the UN treaty so many times that most use of force against them could reasonably be justified.  Yet we do nothing.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Tonymax: After the Korean War, North Korea has blown commercial aircraft out for the sky, sunk South Korean navy ships, attacked downtown Seoul etc, etc... So, please, no alarmism.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I find the advice to hide in a basement pointless and alarmist. Also, I don't understand why the cancelled the trains, whatever happened to carrying on as normal?

As for those advocating shooting down the missile, that is easier said than done.

It appears the government want to appear to be doing something, even though it's a waste of time and only freaks out some people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The US and Japan should airdrop millions of tonnes of weapons into North Korea along with photos of how fat Kim is and translated tales of the obscenely luxurious lifestyle he leads.

Let the North Koreans solve their problems.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

In the wake of this tumult caused by a North Korean missle flying over Hokkaido, I'm afraid people might forget about Okinawa's base issues such as Osprey deployment, Futenma relocation and what not, and submit to laissez-faireism, letting the government forge ahead with the Henoko relocation.

People must undertand building a training base for the U.S. Marines have nothing to do with deterrence against North Korean missile attacks, if there were any, on Japan.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Voice, unfortunately, as the First Nation People’s of the Americas, those of Okinawa are ignored, assimilated and being washed out of existence. The three main groups of Okinawa, their culture and languages --the northern, central and Shuri peoples, and those of the other islands-- are destined to die out unless a fundamental change takes place on the part of the ruling class. It’s appalling that whole cultures, peoples and languages can be wiped out like this, the way Japanese refer to Okinawan as a dialect, and not the separate language it is, is a case in point.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

VoiceofOkinawa you will have a hard time selling reduced military footprint the same day a foreign country shot a missile over Japan. Those bases have a lot to do with response to a possible conflict with NK and less US military in Japan would be absolutely welcomed by NK.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's no more than just an exaggeration of the scale of the launch. North Korea already has a satellite floating over everyone's country in about every minute! Okey, the rocket launched succesfully, but did it ever fall within Japanese airspace or territory? No, and thereby there's no need to act as if your country is being invaded. It's like Japan is trying to justify an attack on North Korea!:( I'm sure the LDP has already drawn a plan to attack North Korea's nuclear bases an thereby terminating Japan's longtime pacifism too good!

The world has been much closer to an atomic warfare/World War 3 before! In 1995 a group of Norwegian and American scientists launched a research rocket at Andoya (North in Norway), Norway notified Russia of their launch, but Russia never read the notifications. The rocket reached an altitude of about 1,500KM, and the russians thought it was a trident-SLBM since it fell out of their radar-range. This ignited a huge furore in Russia, and it was the first time Boris Yeltsin or any Russian/Soviet leader had used the "Nuclear-briefcase". The Russian patience prooved vital, since it was no more than a research rocket. It was deemed as the "Norwegian rocket incident" and is known to be one of the most severe incidents in the Post Cold War-era!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Every time North Korea launches a missle over or towards Japan, we see prime minister Abe walking two or three times his normal pace-that is about the only reaction we see from the government of Japan; a faster walking step...!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

STRIKEBREAKER555

You are glossing over a huge amount of details there and making a comparison where there is none to be made. NK notified no one. NK has actively been promising to destroy the US and its allies. What would one conclude is the purpose of the launch when literally a couple weeks back NK was promising to attack Guam. I swear some people will be content to sit back and wait until their homes are on fire until they think any action is necessary or warnings should not be heeded.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As for those advocating shooting down the missile, that is easier said than done.

Luddite, that's what the THAAD and Patriot missile systems are for, shooting down missiles. If it's not that easy to intercept missiles then what's the point in having those systems? Are they going to wait for a missile on a Tokyo trajectory?

I don't advocate attacking NK though... that'll only escalate things... but these missiles flying over Japan need to be intercepted, and if the technology doesn't work, then they should MAKE it work. Next missile could fail and hit the Japanese islands.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Anxiety is heatedly instigated by politics and mainstream media in Japan.

Japan is easy prey for Military-Industrial Complex.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japan is easy prey for Military-Industrial Complex.

Taken the words right out of my mouth. This is and has always been the end game. Democracy failed to revise the Constitution. So fallback to the tried and true modus operandi, subjugation through fear. Welcome to Japan 2017.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

As for those advocating shooting down the missile, that is easier said than done.

Then explain to us why loads of money have been spent into the THAAD, the Patriot batteries, and Aegis destroyers if not for the main purpose of intercepting anything that flies unauthorized above Japan. I always thought that defences need to shoot down live targets after all the so-called exercises. What would be wrong with shooting the thing down or at least trying to do so? The lack of reaction from the JSDF here is a PR disaster to say the least.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why the missile wasn't shot down? I can think of various reasons:

1) The projected flight path indicated early, that the missile would not hit Japan. Rather if the missile actually was shot down, debris could've been hitting Japan soil.

2) The risk of failure (combined with the anticipated flight path). Just imagine, what a missed defense shot would cause in reputation of being able to defend Japan.

3) Simply no missile defense system available at that location.

4) The ballistic fligh path reached its peak (about 500 km in height) over Japan, being out of range for Patriot or THAAD defense systems, which reach a height of about 150 km).

I'm sure a defense missile would be launched if an attack is imminent to hit Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

saitamaliving - right on.

And as I've written (and others) numerous times before on other threads, over 100kms high is international air space. It is space. The international space station cruises at around 400km. This was much higher.

The missile did not enter Japan's airspace over any part of it's territory - land or sea - afaik.

As disturbingly unsettling as are NK's reckless provocative actions, the major fault in this action was not notifying countries of the flight path so as to warn ships, planes etc in open air, waters. This in itself is not acceptable.

But as much as Abe Inc bays, they can do nothing in such a case. Better to spend time and energy chumming up to China to get them on board the "stop krazy kim" plan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It seems that a military response from the US will be required. An endless amount of talk and sanctions simply have not worked. At some point one has to 'say' No! If there was any other way to stop him, that would be preferred, but I think he has shown everyone that he will continue provocative actions until more 'serious' actions are taken against him. When you know you are confronted by evil, you must be rid of it. Most of us do not want violence, but sometimes the circumstances give us no choice. I know that military action is very serious and will have serious consequences - but I don't wish to give a free pass to NK to continue their current ways.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Luddite,

"I find the advice to hide in a basement pointless"

i would use "take shelter" rather than "hide" but in and case what's pointless about it? If a missile or debris were to come down I would think being underground would generally be safer. If I were downtown I'd definitely head to the nearest department store, train station, large hospital or such with a basement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

North Korea will always North Korea.

They will not stop or slow down their weapons program, they'll keep launching and keep getting closer and closer until they can make something that reaches the US mainland if not DC.

I feel the only reason the US or Japan or S.Korea hasn't attacked NK is because no can think of a scenario where Seoul doesn't get completely wiped out by all of the rockets pointed at it 24/7. Tokyo, too maybe.

Honestly, how can you attack North Korea and still be able to save half of South Korea or maybe even Tokyo? Launch every single thing you have at NK all at once and hope that dismantles their weapons system? Start a mass evacuation of Seoul in the middle of the night to reduce casualties? And what role will China play if an attack on NK happens?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i would use "take shelter" rather than "hide" but in and case what's pointless about it? If a missile or debris were to come down I would think being underground would generally be safer. If I were downtown I'd definitely head to the nearest department store, train station, large hospital or such with a basement.

Because if it was a nuclear missile hiding anywhere would be pointless. A lone missile like today is very unlikely to hit you or the vicinity. As I said earlier, there is a lot to be said for carrying on as normal.

Besides, where I live there is none of those buildings you describe nearby, and I wouldn't want to waste my last minutes panicking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyone know at what altitude the missile passed over Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As one of the interviewees upon a Japan News program said, "by the time we got the alert, where could we go - we don't have a basement, nor concrete house nearby. All we could do was keep away from the Windows!"

Sadly, if a Nuclear Missile was incoming, there'd really be little you could do about it. The Alert system perhaps makes people more anxious ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just shoot the damn missiles down and show NK what we can do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Luddite,

"Because if it was a nuclear missile hiding anywhere would be pointless."

Sureky you are aware that there were actually survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I have personally met people who for instance survived because they happened to be in the basement while their coworkers upstairs were all killed.

"Besides, where I live there is none of those buildings you describe nearby, and I wouldn't want to waste my last minutes panicking."

I didn't advocate panicking. There's no such basements in my neighborhood either. That's why I said IF I happened to be downtown I'd take advantage of a basement if able.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is there any actual footage of a missile flying in the skies?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously, under Abe's leadership, Japan has worst relationship with neighbors.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The US blew it by not shooting the missile down -- which indicates they probably can't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The missile should never have been allowed to enter Japan air space... why wasn't it shot down?

Why the Japanese SDF didn't shoot down the Missile?

The US and Japan should airdrop millions of tonnes of weapons into North Korea

Japan needs to lob a few missiles over North Korea, landing in the Yellow Sea.

It seems that a military response from the US will be required

Japan needs its own nuke NOW...

I find these comments interesting if not amusing.  Only months ago, most here were waving their pacifist/peace flags, criticizing PM Abe for wanting to strengthen Japan defenses, forming strategic alliance with the warmongering Trump and the U.S.  They also laughed at the possibility of a nuclear-armed NK and ICBM capable missiles.

But then NK lobs a missile over Japan and the pacifists start waving war flags demanding military actions against NK.

What is Pyongyang’s only objective?

NK (and China) objective is that a more fearful Japan, will urge the U.S. to open dialog, go to Pyongyang to negotiate a "peace treaty" to end the 64 year old standoff,  that will result in removal U.S. forces in the DMZ, and "surrender" SK to a unified Korean regime that is tilted toward China.  With a stronger allied Korea, China can continue its aggressive actions in the South China Seas, East China Seas and Taiwan Straits that will eventually threaten Okinawa, Japan and the stability in the region.

NK, now armed with nuclear weapons, increased missile capabilities, and continued provocative threats, along with China's backing, are in a stronger position to force these issues.

I hope the U.S.-Japan Alliance will not cave in to NK's demands and terms, but I remain pessimistic and cynical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone know at what altitude the missile passed over Japan?

Around 500 kms, in Space.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Britlover,

Let me dip into a little bit of history.

I have some doubt if you can discuss the conquest of the First Nations People in today's Canada and U.S. by European colonists on the same plane as Meiji Japan's annexation of Ryukyu Kingdom in the 19th century.

The comparison may establish itself snugly enough if you go back to Japan's early history of the second and third centuries when the Yamato Clan defeated the last bastion of adversaries in Kumakoku in Kyushu, thus conquering almost all Japan except the remote Tohoku region. It's probably true that some defeated people in Kyushu took refuge in and escaped to the western islands extending as far as Yonaguni Island, where their cousins lived and interchanged with them since time immemorial. The fact that there are countless similar place names in the two regions attests to this assumption. The languages spoken in these islands and those in Kyushu are derived from the same parent language called Proto-Japanese.

Ryukyu is the nomenclature given by the Chinese court after it became a tributary of China in the 14th century. The Ryukyu court called itself "Chuzankoku (= central kingdom)" because it had unified three kingdoms vying for hegemony for decades until Chuzan won out. But the common people called the area they occupied  "Uchinaa," an ancient name from which the current official name "Okinawa" is derived. 

The Miyako and Yaeyama island groups, together called "Sakishima" , were somewhat in-nation colonies of the Chuzan kingdom, the exploitation of which largely enabled the kingdom to sustain itself in spite of the crushing taxes imposed by the Satsuma Clan, which had invaded and made the kingdom a lucrative tributary in 1609.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alarmist rubbish. 

Its an intolerable violation of Japan's national sovereignty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

War is a terrible thing, but sometime war was needed for to get peace. We must understand the world doesn’t safe as long as Kim Jong-un was alive because he won’t go exile and the evil will use those nuclear weapons and ICBM on Japan, S. Korea and United State and Australia as well as whoever against his regime.

Same goes for Trump, in that case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Same goes for Trump, in that case.

Trump is worse. Much worse.

Kim Jung Fat Boy has the power to destroy a peninsula and destabilize a region. Which, because the region is so economically powerful, could impact the world economy for many years, if not a decade.

Trump has the power to bring it all down. The whole post WWII international order. The order that has seen unprecedented economic and population growth. The order that has not seen a major war between the Big Boys.

Trump is worse. Much much worse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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