Japan is considering issuing to its Self-Defense Forces a standing order to shoot down any projectile heading toward its territory, amid concerns of a heightening threat from North Korea's missile program, a Japanese government source said Friday.

The government has so far issued intercept orders on a case-by-case basis when signs of launch preparations by North Korea have been detected.

The move comes after Japanese and South Korean authorities said North Korea launched a ballistic missile Wednesday that fell near Japanese territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.