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Regarding the March 20 Kyodo article “Diet told of interceptor response to N.K. launch“: [Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka’s statement that he may order the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down the North Korean rocket purportedly carrying a satellite next month if it passes over Japan] is completely irresponsible.

If Japan shoots down or attempts to shoot down North Korea’s satellite, all hell will break loose. Indeed, should this satellite’s trajectory be interfered with, there will be some serious repercussions. Does the defense minister seriously believe that the North Korean government will not react to such action?

If he does, he should be fired. When will the people of Japan learn that North Korea has no interest in Japan. It will not attack this country unless provoked; shooting down one of its satellite missiles is provocation. It is clear that some politicians in this land enjoy scaremongering. I suppose that’s easy to do when you’re banking on the United States to fight your battles.

The Japanese government needs to remember that North Korea now has a new, very young leader. He may not have the patience that his father and grandfather demonstrated. He may order his massive army to invade South Korea while launching hundreds of missiles toward Japan.

I, and probably millions of others, wish that Japanese leaders would show more restraint and common sense. Scaremongering rhetoric is only, as far as I’m concerned, xenophobia.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

ian box

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