• Kyodo

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The Ground Self-Defense Force and Fukui Prefectural Police conducted a joint security drill Monday simulating an incursion by armed commandos on the Fukui coast, which is dotted with atomic plants.

The purpose of the drill, conducted as a strategy session using prefectural police force maps, was to enhance measures against large-scale terrorist activities in the wake of the attacks in the United States in 2001 and occasional intrusions of North Korean spy ships into Japanese territory, police officials said.

It is the second time the Self-Defense Forces and police have conducted a joint exercise, following one involving the GSDF and Hokkaido Prefectural Police in November.

About 40 senior police officials and GSDF officers took part in the exercise. It was conducted on the premise that agents armed with rocket launchers had landed in Fukui, home to 15 nuclear reactors, and that police alone could not handle the situation.

“North Korea poses a grave threat to our country, what with its spy ships, abductions and nuclear arms development. To maintain security, we are looking forward to such cooperation,” said Kenji Terao, a commander of the 10th Division of the GSDF.

Junichi Uchida, a prefectural police chief, said: “This time we only conducted a simulation. But next time we would like to hold a live exercise involving actual forces to improve our capability.”

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