Japan on High Alert After North Korea’s Attack

North Korea’s artillery attack on a South Korean island put the Japanese government on high alert, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordering his cabinet members to step up information-gathering and prepare for emergencies.

China sends two ships to patrol islands in the East China Sea that are also claimed by Japan, the latest sign of heightened tension between the two nations. Video courtesy of Reuters.

After Mr. Kan gathered his key cabinet ministers for an emergency meeting late Tuesday, Tokyo issued a statement that harshly condemned Pyongyang for its attacks on civilian targets and expressed strong support for South Korea.

"The latest act of provocation undermines the peace and security of the entire northeast Asian region including Japan, not just those of South Korea," chief cabinet secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a news conference, as he called the attack an "unforgivable act." "We demand an immediate end to this kind of action," he said.

The strong show of support for South Korea comes as Tokyo moves to strengthen security ties with Seoul, as both nations, along with their mutual allies such as the U.S. and Australia, beef up cooperation to counter rising tensions in northeast Asia.

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