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Japan gives stern warning vs. N.Korea`s planned missile launch

Japan gives stern warning vs. N.Korea`s planned missile launch

Posted December. 03, 2012 05:45,   


Japan has given the most stern warning among the Asian neighbors of North Korea against Pyongyang`s announcement of launching a missile, delaying a meeting of director generals with North Korea, which was planned this week.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters Saturday evening, “After comprehensively examining the situation, we concluded that it`ll be difficult to hold director general-level talks with North Korea scheduled in Beijing Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto ordered the same day Self-Defense Forces to be ready to destroy the missile if North Korea proceeds with the launch. Accordingly, Japan will likely deploy Aegis destroyers armed with interceptor missiles to Okinawa and other regions.

Japan-based experts on North Korea predicted that the missile launch will also affect Japan’s general elections. Chances are high that the launch will benefit most the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has demanded a more hard-line stance in national security and diplomacy. The Liberal Democratic Party`s leader Shinzo Abe and Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba are among the most hawkish lawmakers toward North Korea.

Japan needs dialogue with North Korea to resolve the latter`s past abductions of Japanese nationals. Certain experts, however, predict that Tokyo will refrain from giving a hard-line response. The situation will remain the same even if the party regains power in the general elections.

Masao Okonogi, a Kyushu University professor and a noted expert on Japan`s relations with the two Koreas, said, “Even if the Liberal Democratic Party, which keeps a hard-line stance toward North Korea, takes power, it needs dialogue with Pyongyang to resolve the Japanese abductees` issue,” adding, “Regardless of whether the Democratic Party of Japan or the Liberal Democratic Party takes power, Tokyo and Pyongyang will start diplomatic negotiations in earnest early next year rather than extending tension over the missile.”