North Korea has been in the eye of the storm for a while now. Even though the reclusive nation is known to test ballistic missiles on a regular basis irking many nations, tensions have escalated since it tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3.
It has since also fired two intermediate-range ballistic missiles over rival nation Japan, with whom North Korea's equation has been strained and often marked by tension and hostility. Now, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un refuses to back down, Japan believes that there could be a World War 3 and is preparing for the same.
In tune, Japan is reportedly preparing a plan to deal with the influx of thousands of refugees, which it believes will flee to Japan in case a war breaks out. Not just that, the country is also working on ways to weed out North Korean agents, who are likely to pose security risks to Japan, reported the Japan Times. For this, Tokyo plans to increase the presence of the Japanese Coast Guards in the Sea of Japan, and these personnel will also receive orders to thoroughly inspect passengers at ports.
Additionally, officials at the ports will also be tasked to carry out background checks and look for criminal records. Any refugee, who may be considered a threat will be deported.
As of now, the Japanese government "estimates that tens of thousands of evacuees from North Korea could reach the Japanese coast by wooden boats and other means," the daily quoted a person connected to the Japanese government as saying.
The refugees, who receive permission from the Japanese government to temporarily stay in the country, will be housed at facilities in Kyushu, as it is close to the Korean Peninsula. Tokyo also expects refugees from South Korea and they will reportedly be housed in a different facility.
Meanwhile, speaking about the likely war and the refugees that Japan may have to take in, Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso also said that while the country is looking at several options, there is a possibility that a lot of refugees may also be killed. "They are illegal refugees. They might carry weapons. Terrorism might occur. We have to prepare our government to deal with such a situation," Express UK quoted Aso as saying.
"They could be armed refugees. Would the response come from the police or defence operations by the Self-Defence Forces? Would they be shot? We must give this some serious thought."
However, Aso's statement may once again kick up a storm. He is not new to controversy and was earlier slammed for his Adolf Hiter's "motive was right" comment, which he later retracted.
Even though talks to war have been going on for a while now, the possibility has increased since the US deployed 14,000 personnel off the coast of North Korea and they are taking part in military drills with the Japanese forces. The drills, which began on Thursday, November 16, and will go on for 10 days are "designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations," the US Navy said.