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A Foreign Ministry advisory panel on ministry reforms agreed Wednesday to think about reviewing its crisis-management system, according to the head of the panel.

The panel agreed to consider the issue after members asked whether the deputy vice foreign minister, who is also in charge of crisis management at the ministry, would be able to respond to a crisis on a 24-hour basis over a long period, according to Yoshihiko Miyauchi, who is also chairman of Orix Corp.

The so-called panel for change called on Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and other officials who attended the meeting to strengthen the ministry’s crisis-management system.

Panel members believe North Koreans and Japanese nationals fleeing North Korea could become a major problem, Miyauchi said.

Under the current crisis-management system, according to ministry officials, Deputy Vice Foreign Minister Shinichi Kitajima is responsible for responding to crises and is supposed to ask related bureaus and departments to act.

Toshimitsu Motegi, senior vice foreign minister, said the ministry hopes to compile a basic restructuring plan in February, Miyauchi said.

Kawaguchi commissioned the advisory panel of outside experts in March to come up with ways to improve the ministry, which has been plagued by an ongoing series of scandals, including public-funds fraud by ministry officials and improper ties with lawmakers.

Kawaguchi announced a reform action plan based on the panel’s recommendations in August.

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