Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Japan, perhaps the most nervous neighbor of unpredictable North Korea, is also the least able to overtly make its fears felt, after this week’s nuclear test.
Analysts point out the combination of Tokyo’s history of antagonism with the North and the fact that Pyongyang boasts missiles that could hit almost anywhere in Japan pose particular risks for the world’s second largest economy.
Sanctions have already wiped out much of Tokyo’s bilateral trade with Pyongyang, leaving little space for further punitive economic measures.
Developing a pre-emptive strike capability to enable destruction of enemy missiles on the launch pad is an option that some ruling party lawmakers advocate. Prime ministers, including incumbent Taro Aso, have said a first strike would be in line with Japan’s pacifist constitution, if there were no other options.