The three-party ruling coalition plans to consider legislation to support refugees fleeing Afghanistan in the event of retaliatory strikes by the United States or multinational forces for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, officials said. Secretaries general of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party made the decision in a meeting at a Tokyo hotel, coalition officials said Sunday.

The move followed an announcement Wednesday by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that Japan will take steps to help refugees who may flee areas affected by potential military action.

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