President Donald Trump said earlier this year that Japan should have shot down North Korean missiles that flew over the Asian country, a Japan Times report citing diplomatic sources said Sunday.

According to the report — which came ahead of Trump’s visit to the Asian country at the start of his Asia tour — Trump questioned Japan’s decision not to shoot down the missiles during conversations with leaders of Southeast Asian countries while discussing the response to threats of North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons program. 

The U.S. president reportedly said he could not understand why a nation of samurai warriors would not shoot down the missiles.

North Korea had launched two ballistic missiles over Japan earlier this year and speaking after the launch of the second missile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the launch was "totally unacceptable" and went against "the international community's strong, united will for a peaceful solution."

However, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces did not attempt to intercept the missiles, with the government saying rockets were monitored since their launch and were judged to not land on Japanese territory.

According to the Japanese Times, officials of the defense ministry confirmed that the missiles would have been very difficult to destroy owing to their altitude and speed.

The first missile launched over Japan in August was widely considered to be a challenge for Trump. The president said a week before the launch that his threat to rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea, if it endangered the U.S., was bearing fruit.

Shortly after the August test by North Korea, a U.S. warship had successfully shot down a medium-range ballistic missile in a test launch off the coast of Hawaii.

Talks between Abe and Trump during the latter’s visit beginning Sunday were expected to be centered on threats from North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs.