As the world looks to upcoming summits involving Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington with hopes of achieving even slight progress toward denuclearizing North Korea, Japan's Defense Ministry maintains that it's still too soon for the nation to consider dropping plans to boost security.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera pledged during the ministry's annual symposium on March 19 to continue Tokyo's campaign of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang until the isolated regime takes concrete steps to scrap its nuclear arms and missile programs.

"We're expecting a possible inter-Korean summit and a U.S.-North Korea summit. But at this point I think it's important that we remain cautious about North Korea," said Onodera, the main organizer of the symposium.