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The Japanese government has drawn up an outline of measures it will take at home and overseas in the event the United States goes to war with Iraq, according to government sources.

The plans call for protecting Japanese nationals, aiding refugees and surrounding countries, preventing economic turmoil in Japan and other countries and possibly aiding Iraq in its rebuilding process.

At the same time, security in Japan will be stepped up at nuclear power stations, airports and seaports in light of the possibility of terrorist attacks, the sources said. Measures will also be taken to prevent attacks against U.S. military sites and U.S.-related facilities in Japan.

If war breaks out, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will immediately hold a news conference, the sources said, adding that a meeting of the Security Council and an extraordinary Cabinet meeting will then be held, followed by an announcement on the measures to be taken.

According to the plans, while Japanese nationals in Iraq and surrounding countries will already have been told to evacuate, government-chartered planes and aircraft from the Self-Defense Forces will be dispatched to those countries if the situation deteriorates.

In terms of aid to displaced people, Japan will send tents, blankets and food to refugees — expected to number between 600,000 and 1.4 million.

Under the plan, Japan will announce aid of up to 1.3 billion yen to Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian authority to help alleviate the impact of refugees and to prevent a negative effect on the Middle East peace process.

To prevent further problems in the Japanese economy, Japan and other Group of Seven countries will cooperate to step up monitoring of the stock and foreign exchange markets.

To deal with a rapid rise in crude oil prices, Japan will cooperate with the International Energy Agency and consider releasing its oil reserves.

For Iraqi reconstruction, the government plans to play an active role and will cooperate with the World Bank in rebuilding infrastructure in Iraq, according to the outline.

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