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Japan could legally intercept a Guam-bound North Korea missile: Kyodo

FILE PHOTO - Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera attends a news conference at Defence Ministry in Tokyo, Japan August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan could legally intercept a North Korean missile headed towards Guam, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Thursday in remarks reported by Kyodo news service.

Onodera told a lower house of parliament committee that Japan would be allowed to hit a missile headed towards the U.S. Pacific territory if it was judged to be an existential threat to Japan, Kyodo said. This is a reiteration of the Japanese government’s position.

Experts say Japan does not currently have the capability to shoot down a missile flying over its territory headed for Guam.

Reporting by William Mallard; Editing by Paul Tait

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