• Kyodo

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The central government has begun drawing up guidelines intended to deal with so-called gray zone contingencies that do not allow the government to immediately mobilize the Self-Defense Forces but could pose a serious security threat, a government source said on Wednesday.

Legal constraints permit Tokyo to mobilize the SDF only when a foreign country stages an armed attack against Japan. An attack by an unidentified armed group on a remote island, for example, may not meet that condition, some officials have argued, delaying a military response by the SDF.

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