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Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura on Wednesday ordered the health ministry to make preparations for a possible upgrade of the World Health Organization’s pandemic alert for a new strain of influenza to the highest level of 6.

Meeting with Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe at the ministry, Kawamura said, “If the phase is upgraded to 6, Japan has to do everything it can. Japan’s crisis management will be put to the test.”

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