Toru Hanai | Reuters
Men walk past a street monitor showing North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un in a news report about North Korea’s nuclear test, in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2017.
“Japanese citizens and public have been accustomed to a long-lasting peace, and they believe peace is always there, but this is not necessarily the case,” he added.
In fact, Hirano said, the recent string of missile launches — along with a massive nuclear weapon test that Pyongyang says was a hydrogen bomb — “gave us a very strong alert.”
Those provocations were “a kind of good lesson,” Hirano said, adding that now was the time for Tokyo, the U.S. and other countries to come together and make it clear that they would not allow North Korea’s “unlawful conduct.”