Japan ordered its military to prepare to shoot down a North Korean rocket should it fall over Japanese territory, after Pyongyang said this week that it was ready to launch its first military spy satellite.

Placing the satellite into orbit would require a long-range projectile, which North Korea is banned from launching because the United Nations views such exercises as tests of ballistic missile technology.

Japanese defence minister Yasukazu Hamada told the country’s Self-Defense Forces “there is a possibility of ordering destructive measures against ballistic missiles and others”, according to a statement from the ministry.

Preparations included making arrangements to deploy troops to the southern prefecture of Okinawa to “minimise damage should a ballistic missile fall”.

He ordered preparations for the deployment of destroyers equipped with SM-3 missile interceptors, as well as military units in Okinawa that can operate Patriot PAC-3 missiles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said preparations for the planned launch of the country’s first spy satellite should proceed to counter perceived threats from the United States and South Korea, state media reported on Wednesday.

In 2012 and 2016, North Korea tested ballistic missiles that Pyongyang called satellite launches.

Both missiles flew over the Okinawa region.

Japanese media reported Saturday that the defence ministry issued the same preparation orders in 2012.

Pyongyang has not provided a launch date, with leader Kim Jong Un only saying the satellite will be sent up “at the planned date”.

On Tuesday, G7 foreign ministers meeting in Japan demanded North Korea refrain from any further ballistic missile tests following a spate of launches this year.

The group of rich nations also warned Pyongyang against carrying out an expected nuclear weapons test and said there would be a “robust” response if it did not comply.