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The Cabinet approved attack-contingency manuals Friday from Fukui and Tottori — the first prefectures to submit public evacuation and rescue plans, government officials said.

Other prefectures are expected to follow Fukui and Tottori’s lead in line with legislation that took effect in September on protecting civilians in the event of an attack on Japan.

The Cabinet hopes to approve plans from all prefectures by the end of the fiscal year.

“Each prefecture has its own unique characteristics,” said Yoshitaka Murata, minister of state for disaster management and for national emergency legislation. “I want them to make the best of their creativity (in the manuals) so that residents can be prepared in case of an attack.”

Fukui included a section in its manual on how to respond to an attack on nuclear power plants, as there are 15 reactors in the southern part of the prefecture.

Fukui’s plans include storing supplies — including iodine tablets for radiation sickness — giving the governor authority to suspend nuclear plant operations, and forming expert support teams.

Fukui said in its report that the prefecture’s southern coastline is vulnerable to infiltration, as happened when Japanese were abducted from there by North Korean agents.

Of the five abductees who were repatriated in 2002, two were spirited away from a beach in Fukui Prefecture in 1978.

Tottori offered six evacuation plans, categorizing them by scale — municipal, regional and prefectural.

In the case of an unforeseen attack, the prefecture plans to set up an emergency response team and a crisis management committee even before the central government announces an attack.

City, town and village governments are also to formulate similar crisis response manuals during fiscal 2006, which begins next April. These are to be approved by their respective governors.

The central government in March endorsed basic guidelines on evacuation and rescue for four types of attacks — those involving enemy troop landings, commando raids, ballistic missiles and aircraft.

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