Japan will prepare for the dispatch of its Self-Defense Forces to lend noncombatant support to U.S. forces should Washington take retaliatory action against terrorists, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Wednesday.

In a nationally televised evening news conference, Koizumi declared that Japan will “take swift legal steps” to allow the SDF to engage in logistic, medical and other nonmilitary support for the U.S. in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

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