By Melvi boss, Plusmila.com
15 SEPTEMBER 2017 • 4:27AM
apanese people reacted with a mixture of anger and resignation to North Korea’s latest test launch of a missile over northern Japan, with some suggesting that the international community should now treat the regime of Kim Jong-un as a “terrorist organisation”.
Millions of residents were awoken by sirens and alerts on Friday as Pyongyang fired its second missile over the country in less than a month .
“Japanese people have not been subjected to this kind of threat since the end of the war more than 70 years ago”, said Ken Kato, a Tokyo-based human rights activist.
“People genuinely feel that unless something is done quite soon, then their families are at risk”, he told The Telegraph. “This is the situation we are in now and we have to adapt to these realities, but these missile launches and nuclear tests are leading a lot of people to conclude that Japan needs its own nuclear deterrent.
“Personally, the launch did not come as much of a surprise because this is becoming a fact of life for us in Japan”, he said. “But there is also a growing sense of anger among ordinary people.
“North Korea is a terrorist nation and I expect this situation to escalate even further”, he added.
Mayako Shibata, a university student, was more relaxed about the threat posed by North Korean missiles.
“I am not nervous about these launches because I do not believe they are firing at targets in Japan, so this is not really an attack”, she said. “Launches like this are more part of the political game that it being played out by Pyongyang, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington.
“To me, it is stupid behaviour by the North Koreans because they should not be firing missiles over a neighbouring country – but no-one I know is going to the extremes of stockpiling food and water or making preparations for a missile hitting Japan”.
Not everyone agrees with that sentiment, however, with sales of home-use bomb shelters and air purifying systems increasing significantly since tensions began to rise earlier this year.
“I cannot say that we are used to this. I mean, the missile flew right above our town. It’s not a very comforting thing to hear,” Yoshihiro Saito, who works in the small fishing town of Erimo on Hokkaido, told AFP. “It’s pretty scary.”
Of all the people in Japan, it is ethnic North Koreans who are arguably in the most difficult situation.
” We are really worried about the current situation and really want everything to settle down again”, said Chung Hyon-suk, who lives in Tokyo but whose sons attended North Korean-run schools.
“Both sides need to listen to each other and find a peaceful way to solve their problems”, she said.
“If North Korea is developing missiles, then the rest of the world has to ask why instead of simply saying their leaders are ‘insane’ “, she said.
And other ethnic North Koreans living in Japan are fearful that the current instability may make them targets.
“I have heard that parents are walking with their kids to school in the morning and then meeting them in the evening to go home”, Mrs Chung said. “They just want to protect them”.