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DATE=9/4/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-238150 TITLE=JAPAN / NORTH KOREAN MISSILES / S BYLINE=STEVE HERMAN DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: JAPANESE DEFENSE OFFICIALS -- CRITICIZED BY THE PUBLIC AND OPPOSITION POLITICIANS FOR A DELAYED AND MUTED RESPONSE TO THE UNPRECEDENTED NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST WHICH FLEW OVER THE JAPANESE MAINLAND -- ARE TALKING TOUGHER NOW. AS STEVE HERMAN REPORTS, OFFICIALS HERE ARE REMINDING THE PUBLIC, ALTHOUGH JAPAN'S CONSTITUTION ESPOUSES PACIFISM, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE COUNTRY IS DEFENSELESS. TEXT: DEFENSE AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL FUKUSHIRO NUKAGA IS DUSTING OFF THE GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES ON INTERPRETING THE CONSTITUTION. HE SAYS -- UNDER A 1956 POLICY -- JAPAN CAN REPLY, IN KIND, TO ANY DIRECT ATTACK. BUT FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS SAY THERE IS NO WAY JAPAN WOULD CONSIDER BOMBING NORTH KOREA JUST FOR TESTING MISSILES -- EVEN IF THEY FLY OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY. FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN SADDAKI NUMATA TELLS V-O-A MR. NUKAGA'S COMMENTS TO REPORTERS WERE HYPOTHETICAL AND JAPAN CAN ONLY ATTACK A FOREIGN COUNTRY IF THERE A STATE OF WAR. IN RECENT DAYS, JAPANESE GOVERNMENT SAID THERE WERE INDICATIONS A SECOND NORTH KOREAN MISSILE LAUNCH WAS IN THE WORKS. NOW THOSE SAME OFFICIALS ARE SAYING ANOTHER MISSILE TEST APPEARS LESS IMMINENT. A SECOND EMERGENCY CABINET MEETING ON THE SUBJECT HAS BEEN CANCELED, WHILE ANALYSTS GATHER MORE INFORMATION. (SIGNED) NEB / WD / WD 04-Sep-98 3:40 AM EDT (0740 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .