Is it safe to visit Japan as a tourist given the North Korea tensions today?
I am assuming that you are an American
I think Janera's answer is a great answer. In addition to that, I think your fear is not necessarily being inside Japan, but actually flying there. I might be wrong in my assumption, but that's the impression I get.
If that is the case, pay attention to the news and/or Google search for any news of airlines suspending travel around that particular area - you'll know before hand.
Also, pay attention to this site: North Korea Travel Warning
The USA issues travel warnings for Americans, so monitor that site for anything related to Japan.
I am not sure a long term stay is great, but a reasonable visit is fairly safe. Kim is talking tough, and Trump is not blinking. At the same time, Trump seems to have no interest in sparking World War III. No action taken so far has been more than a carefully measured statement. He ordered an attack on a Syrian Air Base after it was used for chemical warfare on Syrian people. The Russians were warned ahead of time (to prevent collateral damage. The runway was left intact. Depending on whether you believe the Russians or the Americans, between 6 and 20 MIG-23s were destroyed, plus a fueling station. It was enough to get Putin and Assad's attention, but not enough to start a war. On April 13, 2017, Trump's military dropped a MOAB on a mountain where ISIS fighters were housed underground. 92–94 were killed. More importantly, Trump sent everyone, imcluding shorty in North Korea that we don't need nukes to clean house up there. Again, no one wants to fight over it. Trump has found his niche. When America is desperate for someone good at brinksmanship, Trump is your huckleberry. Kim knows he can sabre rattle all day long. He would actually like it if we made a move. The country would rally against Trump. The allies would be aghast, China and Russia would challenge our leadership in the region. But Trump in neither backing down nor taking the bait. The opposite is Kim's problem. Facing mass starvation, strangled by sanctions, caught red-handed delivering WMDs to Syria, and with a malnourished million man army, he needs a new strategy. Instead, being a one-trick pony, he is doubling down on a bigger version of his old extortion tactics. Trump is not buying it, and making the Chinese look like enablers of horror if they continue to protect this idiot in the process. That challenges China's illegal claim to most of the South China Sea, and their bid to be the only superpower in the east. If Kim draws first blood we have the demonstrated right to scrape North Korea like the top of a rock. All Trump has to do is sit back, and say, "any time you feel froggy, mister, just go ahead and jump.
Don't wait for the cherry blossoms, though. Just go and enjoy. Frankly I am jealous. I wish it were me.
Well, I live in Tokyo, and I'm not making plans to flee any time soon.
That said, I'm not quite as confident as the Quorans who answered before me that everything will be just fine.
As evidenced by the fact L'il Kim brushed off the warships Trump sent his way and launched his sixth missile test by aiming the weapons at the armada, we're not dealing with grown-ups here. Both leaders are bullies fed on a diet of flattering news, and it's easy to see them getting into a highly lethal game of chicken.
I agree with Mark that if North Korea uses a nuclear weapon that country will cease to exist (sorry, South Korea, that you're likely to end up as a contaminated wasteland as well). But there are a lot of toys to throw before you get to the nuclear football.
Honestly, if it were Obama or Bush in the Oval Office I wouldn't be worried. But with Trump you just never know.
That said, if any of my family or friends want to come visit me, I certainly wouldn't discourage them - just as they don't discourage me from returning to the U.S. despite the (supposedly) constant threat of terrorist attacks. There are always risks, and the threat from North Korea isn't a particularly scary one.
I live in Japan, in Aomori-Prefecture to be exact. My prefecture was just south of where the missile overflew.
Initially I was very worried about the alarm that could spring around 6 a.m. on the morning of the first missile, but further learning about how competent the military defensive system is here in Japan, I became less worried. The only reasons why the missiles weren't destroyed mid flight is that there explosions could create potential harmful debris falling and potentially causing damage/harm.
It's a little bit unnerving now with Trump poking at Kim Jong Un, but realistically I think that nothing will happen so hastily that will affect a tourist who plans to be in Japan for only a small time.
TLDR: Don't worry, the military defensive system in Japan is top-notch and will give plenty of warning beforehand.
If you start thinking about what country to visit based on possibilities of danger, you will never leave home.
Every country can be said to be dangerous.
I expect you are less likely to have a problem in Japan than in a number of other countries. What you think Paris is safe? My Turkish friend tells me that Istanbul is not safe right now. In comparison, Japan is safe. Japan is pretty big, so there is very little chance that a missile will fall where you happen to be.
Also, North Korea is not aiming its missiles at Japan. It is aiming at the US, so you are probably safer than staying in the US.
Thanks for the A2A!
While it's still safe to travel to Japan, i wouldn't reccomend it. While the scenario of "Japan is nuked into nothingness" will probably won't happen, at the same time Japan military is on high alert.
That means, if you're a tourist (especially if you're a South/Southeast Asian tourist like me, who'll never get summer holidays) then your plans might get screwed if they decide to lockdown the country, not letting anyone leave or enter Japan for some time. Being stuck in a country sucks.
But eh, that's a risk you can take - the worst thing possible you'll go home irradiated.