In the event of a North Korean nuclear attack on Guam, Japan’s new defense minister said Thursday that his country’s military could shoot down the missiles before they reach the U.S. territory.
In such a scenario, Japan has the right to activate its Aegis destroyer missile defense system, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said during a session of the National Diet, Japan’s parliament.
Any attack against Guam would be considered an existential threat to Japan, the defense minister said, also citing a mutual defense agreement with the United States.
Japan lies only about 620 miles to the east of North Korea, which has conducted numerous missile tests this year. Most of the weapons have landed in the Sea of Japan, which lies between Japan and the eastern coast of the massive Asian continent.
Guam lies about 1,600 miles south of Japan.