Japan will ask foreign countries to beef up security at their airports as the World Cup soccer finals approach in an attempt to prevent terrorist acts on airplanes flying to Japan, government sources said Friday.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry is expected to make the request next week through the Foreign Ministry. The move reflects the ministry’s concerns over a possible terrorist attack similar to the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

Government sources said the security request will be made to 42 countries that operate commercial flights to Japan.

The transport ministry will ask that suspicious passengers and hand luggage on Japan-bound flights undergo thorough security screenings, the sources said.

The ministry has already ordered domestic airlines to take counter-hijacking and counterterrorism steps, and it has decided to ban airplanes from flying over the 10 soccer stadiums where the monthlong tournament will take place. The ban will be in effect for the duration of the tournament, which will run between May 31 and June 30.

As of May 31, passengers will not be permitted to carry onto aircraft any objects that could be used as a weapon. Passengers who do so face a fine.

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