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The Liberal Democratic Party’s project team on crisis management held its first meeting Friday, agreeing to discuss 10 issues ranging from North Korea’s missile launch to responses to emergency situations to antiterrorism measures.

The team, headed by former Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga, was established amid growing concerns among LDP politicians that the Self-Defense Forces will not be able to cope with emergencies such as direct attacks on Japan under existing laws.

Their concerns were heightened by North Korea’s launch of a missile over Japan in August and by growing suspicion that North Korea is gearing up to develop nuclear weapons.

At the next meeting, Nukaga said he will report on the lessons he learned from the North Korean missile launch as defense chief at the time.

Following Nukaga’s report, the team plans to study topics such as:

1) ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea;

2) recent moves by the United Nations and countries such as South Korea, China and Russia;

3) evacuation methods during disasters or acts of terrorism;

4) information gathering procedures and government actions during emergencies;

5) and the possibility of drafting rules of engagement for the SDF in case it is ever involved in an actual battle.

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