As North Korea looks set to launch a spy satellite, potentially over Okinawa's far-flung islands, the Defense Ministry has ordered the Self-Defense Forces to be ready to shoot down any object that could threaten Japanese territory.

But as dramatic as a shootdown sounds, such a scenario is highly unlikely, with the order more about reassuring a nervous public.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada issued the advance order on Saturday after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week called for the launch of the country’s first military spy satellite. Kim did not give a time frame, but ordered officials to speed up preparations for the already-built satellite’s launch — a hint that it could come soon.