Apparently, Russians are worry about this prospect.
I think we will be in a position to shoot it down if necessary and give Japan credit for it. No matter who’s missile hits.
They issued such commands in advance of the Taepodong (Unha 2) launch and other provocations in the last year and a year or two ago (the “shoot down authorization”). They are just excelerating their announcement of it, and their preparations, it seems, and taking no chances. It is extremely academic if they can hit one, but they very well may be able to get a modified scud or Nodong on Musudan and bring it down either over the Sea between DPRK and Korea, or somewhere over Japanese land, hopefully not near a populated area. To do so I would say they would be very lucky. However, perhaps the threat alone and the issuing of it tonight on national TV if anything ups the ante and is good, I would like to see the Fat One think twice about aiming it at Japan with the prospect it could end up as good scrap metal in mid air. But it would take some mighty savvy shooting by the Japanese (or has been pointed out, US could get from an AEGIS ship perhaps and then give Japan the credit), or nobody would talk about it and of course DPRK’s telemetry would tell them our side got one of theirs in mid air and they will from now on be challenged and not allowed to send these over Japanese territory like they have done one 2 occasions now with inpunity.
I just hope that we are not shooting anything down. I would much happier if we were zapping things down.
Short answer to your question is yes: the Japanese have four Konga-class destroyers equipped for BMD with the Aegis system and SM-2 and SM-3 missiles. In fact, the Konga has participated in BMD testing off Hawaii.
Japan is more than capable of handling the shoot-down by themselves. The fact that Tokyo has announced plans to intercept the missile—ahead of Washington—speaks volumes about our lack of leadership against North Korea.