Japan is moving missile defence systems into the heart of Tokyo.
This comes after North Korea threatened to send a volley of rockets over the country towards Guam.
Pictures show how a PAC-3 Patriot missile unit has been moved in to a compound at the Defence Ministry in the capital after officials said they could shoot down North Korean rockets if they pass overhead.
Sales of bomb shelters in Japan are also said to have increased as tensions continue to rise in the region while officials in Seoul have vowed to bolster their defences.
But South Korean citizens – long accustomed to its neighbour’s fearsome rhetoric – are staying remarkably calm as the crisis unfolds, it has been reported.
Officials in Hawaii, meanwhile, say they are working on how to warn its 1.4million residents in the event of an attack.
It comes after North Korea warned it will complete a plan to unleash an “enveloping fire” around Guam by mid-August. This will involve firing four Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters near the tiny US island, officials claimed.
Defence Minister, Itsunori Onodera, has said a missile attack on the island would breach the U.S. deterrence against an attack on Japan.
He said that would be a Japanese national emergency because it would threaten Japan’s existence as a nation.
Onodera said Japan in that case can exercise the right to “collective” self-defence and activate the Aegis destroyer ship-to-air missile defense system.
His comment underscores Japan’s growing military role and reverses its previous position that it can only shoot down missiles headed to Japan.
A defence law that took effect last year allows Japan’s military to defend U.S. and other allies when they come under enemy attack.
In April it emerged that sales of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan as North Korea pressed ahead with missile tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
A small company that specialises in building nuclear shelters, generally under people’s houses, said it had received eight orders in April alone compared with six orders during a typical year.
The company, Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, based in Kobe, western Japan, also has sold out of 50 Swiss-made air purifiers, which are said to keep out radiation and poisonous gas, and is trying to get more, said Nobuko Oribe, the company’s director.
Meanwhile, officials in Hawaii have revealed how they plan to respond in the event of a North Korean attack, CNN reports.
Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, director of public affairs for the state’s Department of Defense, said: “If North Korea uses an intercontinental ballistic missile, from launch to impact (in Hawaii) is approximately 20 minutes; Vern Miyagi, administrator for Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency, added: “Pacific Command would take about fives minutes to characterise a launch, where the missile is going, which means the population would have about 15 minutes to take shelter.
‘It’s not much time at all. But it is enough time to give yourself a chance to survive.”
Meanwhile, in South Korea, residents are surprisingly not alarmed about the current situation, according to the LA Times.