It is perhaps the highest status of readiness for Japan’s military since World War Two.
The country has deployed navy ships equipped with intercept missiles and set up missile defenses on offshore islands and even in central Tokyo. U.S forces in Japan are on the similar status of alert.
On remote Ishiaki Island, some residents say the preparations make them nervures.
“I can’t believe what a big deal is being made after this missile launch.”
It’s not an overreaction, says spokesman Noriyuki Shikata at the Japanese Prime Minister’s office.
“The possibility of launching of ballistic missiles from North Korea is indeed a direct threat for the security of Japan. And it is natural for us to be prepared, includes collaborations especially with the U.S military.”
Preparations by Japan and South Korea to try to intercept the missile if it deviates from its course and flies over their territories, is pumping a new threat to Pyongyang. It says any such action would mean war and it would immediate retaliate with military strikes.
“Whoever intercepts our satellite or collects its debris will mean immediate resolute and merciless punishment.”
If the North Korea missile is spotted on a trajectory for Japan, the country will activate a J Alert emergency message system to immediately inform the public.
Shikata, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations says Japan will be prepared for whatever happens.
“Our point is we still calm. And at the same time we remain resilience against different contingencies.”
Lawmaker Ichiro Aisawa chairs the opposition’s foreign affairs committee in parliament.
“If Japan finds itself targeted by a missile attack, that would be an act of aggression and we would have no other choice but to be drawn into the start of a war. But we need to try to keep a cool head and make the right decisions.”
If the launch perceives, Japanese officials say they will push for additional U.N sanctions against North Korea and its new young leader Kim Jong An.