Statement by Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary on North Korea’s Missile Launch

October 4, 2022
[Provisional translation]

1. At around 7:22 a.m. today, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over the vicinity of Aomori Prefecture, Japan. It is highly probable that the ballistic missile landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean. The Government of Japan is taking every possible measure in response, including confirming the safety of vessels at sea and aircraft aloft, as well as the safety of the areas determined to have been along the missile’s flight path. No damage has been reported as of now.
2. The countries concerned including Japan, as well as the international community as a whole, have repeatedly urged North Korea to fully comply with relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, condemned North Korea’s repeated provocations including ballistic missile launches, and urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile development programs. It is extremely regrettable and totally unacceptable for Japan that against this backdrop North Korea once again, in violation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, launched a ballistic missile, which also flew over Japan.
3. North Korea has conducted ballistic missile launches 20 times in total in 2022 alone, and this series of provocations undertaken at such high frequency constitutes a serious challenge to the international community. With that as background, it appears that the missile launched today flew over Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean. This is the first missile to fly over Japan since September 15, 2017, an interval of roughly five years. This launch of ballistic missiles over Japan poses a grave and imminent threat to Japan’s national security. It furthermore threatens the peace and security of the region and the international community.
4. Launching a ballistic missile without prior notice and above Japanese territory is also an extremely problematic act from the perspective of ensuring the safety of aircraft and vessels as well as the safety of the residents of the areas over which the missile was determined to have flown.
5. Such an action by North Korea violates the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions as well as the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Japan lodges its serious protest and it condemns North Korea in the strongest possible terms.
6. Japan once again strongly urges North Korea to immediately and fully implement the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions as well as to take concrete actions towards the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues.
7. In accordance with instructions from the Prime Minister, the Government of Japan will continue to take every possible means to ensure the peace and security of the nation as well as the peace of mind and safety of the Japanese people, and will take the following measures:
(1) Reconfirm whether or not any damage has resulted from the launch, including from falling objects, focusing on the areas over which the missile was determined to have flown;
(2) Thoroughly collect and analyze information, including on possible future moves by North Korea, and provide timely and accurate information to the public;
(3) Prevent the occurrence of contingencies by tirelessly adjusting Japan's posture as necessary;
(4) Continue to steadily implement Japan’s own measures and also measures based on relevant UN Security Council Resolutions; further strengthen its cooperation and collaboration with countries concerned, including the United States and the ROK, as well as the international community, ensure the effectiveness of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and swiftly examine firm responses towards North Korea, including further responses by the UN Security Council;
(5) Further reinforce the Japan-U.S. Alliance in order to advance Japan's responses to contingencies and to promote measures by the international community directed at North Korea, and further promote related efforts, with the Japan-U.S. Alliance as the cornerstone; and
(6) Realistically consider all options without excluding any possibilities, including so-called counterstrike capabilities, through the process of drawing up a new National Security Strategy and relevant documents; and fundamentally reinforce our defense capabilities with a sense of speed.
8. We ask the public to remain calm and continue on with their daily lives and activities as usual.

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