The government of Japan began drafting scenarios for a military response of Japanese Self-Defense Forces to an armed conflict in the Korean peninsula, the Japan Times newspaper reported, citing the information earlier published by the Kyodo news agency.
According to the agency’s sources, the Japanese National Security Council studied four scenarios that include an accidental clash between the Japanese and North Korean armed forces, a preventive strike of the United States on North Korea, a military incursion of North Korea into the territory of South Korea and a North Korean rocket strike on Japan.
The strategic planning has been underway for a while at the Ministry of Defense and other Japanese ministries but by bringing the Security Council led by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe into the discussion, the whole process is expected to be taken to a new level, the Kyodo said, citing its expert sources.
At its December 21 meeting, the Japanese Security Council decided to conduct war games simulating different scenarios of a possible military conflict. They also discussed stepping up the presence of American personnel.
North Korea conducts regular ballistic missile tests. Debris from the last missile launched in November 2017 crashed into the exclusive economic zone of Japan. Recently, Pyongyang boasted that its rocket can now reach any part of the United States.
Washington responded to the North Korean missile launches with new sanctions. On December 26, Washington sanctioned a deputy head of the military industrial department and a first deputy head of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
The US considers them responsible for the development of the North Korean state nuclear program. On December 22, the United Nations introduced new sanctions on North Korea aimed at limiting Pyongyang’s economic ties with other countries.