Japan Orders Military To ‘State Of Alert’ As North Korea Accuses US Of Seeking ‘Preemptive Nuclear Strike’

Just days after North Korea has accused Washington of planning a preemptive nuclear strike – following the US announcement that it would deploy its B-1 bomber in the Pacific for the first time in a decade – Japan’s increasingly militarist tone just ratcheted up to ’11’ as defense ministry officials have ordered its military to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles that threaten to strike Japan, putting its forces on a state of alert for at least three months.

Pyongyang has repeatedly warned it may carry out preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korean and U.S. targets.

The secretive state, led by supreme leader Kim Jong-un, warned Saturday it would respond to any aggression by reducing the U.S. to a “sea of flames”.

“The ever-mounting moves of the U.S. imperialists to ignite a nuclear war are pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula into the uncontrollable and catastrophic phase,” said the North Korean statement.

And so, following this outburst, as Reuters reports, Abe has stepped up his military’s preparedness to respond…

Japan ordered its military on Monday to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles that threaten to strike Japan, putting its forces on a state of alert for at least three months, a defense ministry official and media said.

Up to now, Japan has issued temporary orders when it had indications of an imminent North Korean missile launch that it has canceled after a projectile had been launched.

However, because some test firings are hard to detect, it has decided to put its military on standby for a longer period. The order will be reviewed after three months, state broadcaster NHK said.

In other words, the next time Kim Jong-un launches, it may start the next war.

An increasingly militaristic Japan is something we’ve been warning about for a while. As Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Mike Krieger previously detailed

In case you aren’t up to speed on your Japanese history, the nation’s post WWII Constitution prohibits military action unless it’s in self-defense. Clearly a sensible approach, which is why the current Japanese government, led by the demonstrably insane and incompetent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wants to get rid of it.

This story is very important. Not only will this action increase the likelihood of World War III in the Far East, but it’s another important example of a government acting against the will of the people.

Polling has indicated the Japanese public is against a pivot toward militarization and war, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  is pushing forward nonetheless. In fact, the current legislation to allow overseas military intervention has already passed the lower house of government. This prompted many Japanese to emerge from their decades long political apathy and get out into the streets. It’s estimated these protests were the largest in recent memory.

Fast forward a year, and here’s what Abe is up to now.

From the AP article, Japan Picks Defense Chief Who Downplays Wartime Past:

TOKYO (AP) — A woman who has downplayed Japan’s wartime actions and is known to have far-right views was named defense minister in a Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, a move that could unsettle relations with Asian neighbors with bitter memories of World War II-era atrocities.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe changed more than half of the 19-member Cabinet in a bid to support his economic and security policies, as well as push for revising Japan’s postwar constitution.

While keeping the economy as the top priority, Abe said he would do his “utmost to achieve a (constitutional) revision during my term,” which ends in September 2018.

A lawyer-turned-lawmaker with little experience in defense, Inada is one of Abe’s favorites. She regularly visits the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war dead including convicted war criminals, a gesture seen as an endorsement of Japan’s militaristic past.

She also has defended Japan’s wartime atrocities, including forcing many Asian women into sexual servitude in military-run brothels, and has led a party committee to re-evaluate the judgment of war tribunals by the Allies.

Her link to a notorious anti-Korea group was acknowledged by a court this year in a defamation case she lost. Inada also was seen posing with the leader of a neo-Nazi group in a 2011 photo that surfaced in the media in 2014.

The question is, Krieger asks ominously, what sort of war will this be? If it happens, it’ll be the first fourth turning level war since the nuclear age began. In a best case scenario, world leaders would be at least sane enough not to deploy nuclear weapons. If that’s the case, the conflict would likely focus on financial and cyber warfare. Things that can be extraordinarily destructive in their own right, but would at least avoid a destruction of the human race. Such topics will be explored further in the years ahead.

Full article: Japan Orders Military To ‘State Of Alert’ As North Korea Accuses US Of Seeking ‘Preemptive Nuclear Strike’ (Zero Hedge)

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