The missile was fired shortly before midnight Japan time on Friday, Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, said, citing government officials. Abe is convening an emergency meeting of officials, Reuters reported.
"We detected a launch of a ballistic missile from North Korea," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told CNBC in an email statement. "We are assessing and will have more information soon."
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said the North Korean missile flew for about 45 minutes before landing in Japan's exclusive economic zone, which stretches some 200 nautical miles from its coast. Suga reported that there were no immediate reports of damage from the missile.
A South Korean military official told NBC News that North Korea fired "one unidentified projectile" into the East Sea, which is a portion of the Sea of Japan. The military official said the incident was immediately reported to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Top U.S. and South Korean military officials met to discuss military options after the launch, a spokesman for a top U.S. general told Reuters. Marine General Joseph Dunford and U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris called South Korean Joint Chief of Staff General Lee Sun-jin to discuss the commitment of the alliance and military response options.
The missile was fired from Jagang province in northern North Korea, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. The agency also said the South Korean president arranged an urgent meeting of his national security team.