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Japan needs to step up measures to cope with terrorist attacks using biological weapons, an advisory panel to the head of the Defense Agency said in a report Wednesday.

The panel submitted the report to Defense Agency Director General Toshitsugu Saito, calling for enhanced readiness to prepare for biological terrorism attacks.

It calls for building up anti-bioweapons equipment, medical system preparedness and for staging comprehensive antiterrorism drills in cooperation with local governments.

The report also underscores the necessity of guidance for doctors in diagnosing and treating illnesses resulting from biological attacks.

In response to the report, the Defense Agency plans to expand the training of the Self Defense Forces’ antichemical warfare units, beef up research and increase supplies of anti-bioweapons equipment.

The report says cheap, easily produced biological weapons are spreading worldwide and are being acquired by terrorists, constituting a new threat. It cited 20 kinds of bacteria and viruses, including smallpox, as potential bioweapons.

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