Japan's ruling party has approved a proposal to give the nation's defense chief authority to respond quickly if the nation comes under a missile attack.
The measure voted on by the Liberal Democratic Party Tuesday would allow action without first getting the approval of Japan's cabinet or security council.
A missile fired from North Korea could reach Japan in 10 minutes, making it impossible for the defense chief to act under the normal chain of command.
North Korea sent a ballistic missile over Japan in 1998, claiming it was a failed satellite launch.
The LDP also approved a proposal that would create a joint command for Japan's army, naval and air force.
The measures must still be approved by the cabinet and the Japanese parliament.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.