TOKYO — As tensions on the Korean Peninsula reach new heights with Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, Japan is planning for a possible mass evacuation of the nearly 60,000 Japanese citizens currently living in or visiting South Korea.
“There is a possibility of further provocations,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a Monday meeting with ruling coalition lawmakers. “We need to remain extremely vigilant and do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people.”
In response to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, Japan and the U.S. seek to ratchet up economic pressure on the rogue state through an oil embargo and other measures. But U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday also said any threat to the U.S. or its allies “will be met with a massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming.”
There are currently about 38,000 long-term Japanese residents in South Korea, as well as another 19,000 or so tourists and other short-term travelers. “If the U.S. decided on a military strike against the North, the Japanese government would start moving toward an evacuation on its own accord regardless of whether the American plans are public,” a Japanese government source said.
There is something there is looming in the air with North Korea and Japan. I honestly believe that something is bound to happen very soon with these two countries especially. We need to pray for those in Japan as well as the civilians in North Korea. Something is getting ready to take place and we must intercede for our brothers and sisters in these two countries as well. Shalom