Japan could legally intercept a North Korean missile headed towards Guam, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Thursday.

Onodera told a lower house of parliament committee that Japan would be allowed to hit a missile headed towards the U.S. Pacific territory if it was judged to be an existential threat to Japan. This is a reiteration of the Japanese government's position.

Experts say Japan does not currently have the capability to shoot down a missile flying over its territory headed for Guam.