Friday, April 13, 2012

Asia Times Online :: Missile makes Japan twitch new muscle

Japan has been one of the most active players in the North Korean "satellite" crisis. As a country well within the range of Pyongyang's ballistic missiles, Tokyo has good reason to be concerned, but the implications of its assertiveness in the past month are interesting in their own right.

When South Korea said on March 26 that it would intercept Pyongyang's Unha-3 rocket if the satellite's trajectory appears errant, the warning came three days after Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka's announcement that Tokyo was readying Aegis-class warships and PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles in preparation for North Korea's rocket launch. That was quite a move for a country that constitutionally renounces the use of force as means of settling international disputes.

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