The Japanese government plans to step up calls for North Korea to exercise self-restraint following the North's recent missile launches.
North Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles from the country's southwest toward the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning.
That's the 5th time this year the North has launched ballistic missiles, following June 29th and July 9th.
The Japanese government lodged a strong protest with Pyongyang through the Japanese embassy in Beijing, arguing that the launches are violations of the UN Security Council resolutions.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged North Korea to proceed with the investigation into the fate of Japanese nationals abducted by the North and other missing Japanese.
Abe vowed that he will continue to work for the resolution of the abduction issue.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera noted that the North's missile launches are part of exercises designed to increase its missile capability.
Onodera said the exercises seem highly strategic given that the North has launched missiles from various sites at various times.
Jul. 14, 2014 - Updated 00:44 UTC