April 11 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought to reassure his country as tough talk from U.S. President Donald Trump on North Korea and Pyongyang's escalating threats draw concerns of a possible military conflict.
Abe said Tokyo will "protect the peaceful lives of citizens in any situation" during a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday, NHK reported.
Trump's order of a missile strike on Syria, a move that openly received Abe's support, may have also left many Japanese increasingly anxious about a conflict in their region, according to a recent Japanese survey.
Tensions have risen since Trump reportedly told Abe that all options are "on the table" following North Korea's most recent provocation: a failed missile launch, described by the Japanese prime minister as a "dangerous provocative act and a grave threat to security."
Experts have said an "all options" policy is a dangerous formula for North Korea.
A strike on North Korea military facilities could not only lead to a devastating nuclear assault against South Korea, but also against targets in Japan.
Pyongyang has been test-launching a greater number of midrange ballistic missiles that could strike U.S. military bases in Asia's second-largest economy.
North Korea's threats are changing Japanese public opinion on defense, according to NHK.
A recent survey of 1,233 Japanese respondents indicates 36 percent see a need to "review the self-defense force's strike capabilities against the enemy," according to the report.
But the survey also showed 55 percent did not think positively of the U.S. strike against Syria's military bases.
Abe also maintains a 53 percent approval rating, according to the survey.