As North Korea threatens to launch a miniaturized nuclear warhead — which may or may not exist yet — just feet from the beaches of the U.S. territory of Guam and Hawaii prepares for a possible strike, Japan is sending a strong message to America. And it’s a welcome one.
The verbal battle between President Trump and Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has intensified over the past few days, with North Korea claiming that they’re seriously considering launching missiles toward Guam and Trump promising “fire” and “fury” on a massive scale if the small Asian nation doesn’t cease its threats.
Now Japan is stepping into the fray, letting America know that it will shoot down any missile Kim Jong-Un fires at us, according to Canada’s Global News. An attack on America would be an attack on the safety of Japan, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera made clear to the Japanese Parliament on Thursday.
For decades, the U.S. has protected Japan with a “nuclear deterrence policy” intended to shield our large Asian ally from a nuclear attack, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Itsunori believes an attack on the U.S. would breach that nuclear umbrella and require action from Japan.
Experts say Japan’s military is one of the most powerful in the world, despite a constitution the U.S. established after World War II to restrict Japan’s military to being a defensive force, according to CNN.
Military history professor John T. Kuehn of the U.S. Army Command General Staff College said, "Pilot for pilot, ship for ship, Japan can stand toe to toe with anybody.”
And the ties between our military and theirs is strong, with US Naval Institute News contributor Kyle Mozokami adding, “The United States and Japan are the two closest military powers in the world today. They're even closer than the US and UK. They train together on a daily basis, and there are major military exercises in air, land and sea on almost a weekly basis.”
Japan has not been allowed to make nuclear weapons, but they do have a mobile anti-missile system designed for knocking intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) out of the sky. Meanwhile, Hawaiians are being advised on how to react to a nuclear attack if Japan’s and America’s defensive shields fail to completely protect it.