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Defense chief Hosei Norota told some 650 agency officials at a hastily arranged meeting Thursday to tighten discipline following a recent series of scandals involving members of the Self-Defense Forces.

The gathering at the Defense Agency was held at the request of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi after Norota officially announced earlier in the day that top SDF officers would be penalized in connection with the accidental firing in February of live shells from a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer.

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