by WorldTribune Staff, November 5, 2017
Japan should have taken the initiative and shot down North Korean missiles that flew over Japanese territory in two separate tests, U.S. President Donald Trump said.
Japan’s military has been limited by a “peace constitution” under U.S. guidance since World War II, and its armed forces are called the “Self Defense Force.” However in recent years, the U.S. has favored Japan taking a more active role in the pro-Western alliance in the region and communist China rapidly expands its own military forces and sphere of influence.
Trump, who arrived in Japan on Nov. 5 at the start of his five-nation trip to Asia, said he “could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles,” sources said, according to a Kyodo report.
Trump questioned Japan’s decision not to shoot down the missiles when he met or spoke by phone with leaders from Southeast Asian countries over recent months to discuss how to respond to the threats from North Korea, the sources said.
North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles on Aug. 29 and Sept. 15 that flew over Hokkaido, Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said the country’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) did not try to intercept the missiles, saying the SDF had monitored them from launch and judged they would not land on Japanese territory.
The ministry added that the altitude and speed of the missiles would have made it very difficult to destroy them in flight, while failure would have been embarrassing for Japan and encouraging to North Korea.
Threats from the Kim Jong-Un regime’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs were set to be high on the agenda in Trump’s talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Nov. 6.