...or he is a political partisan of the "but we CAN'T!!!" school of want-to-be diplomats. The only fathomable reason for someone competent saying something like this is *if* the Obama administration has refused to support an intercept attempt by Japan's Self-Defense Force.
Sure would have been nice if he had let his name be cited, because this fellow needs a couple of shots of "baka-be-gone". (baka = "fool" in Japanese, but a much harsher term than the English equivalent)
His one cited quotation:
"You cannot shoot down a pistol bullet by a pistol," the senior government source said....that, ladies and gentlemen, is a demonstration of a failure to understand the capability. Shooting down a ballistic missile is much harder than shooting a bullet into another bullet, and with the (very expensive) investment in the necessary technology, entirely do-able.
Not a sure thing, but do-able. One we should be prepared to try.