• Kyodo

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The Abe administration proposed allowing the Self-Defense Forces to rescue Japanese nationals caught up in emergencies abroad under five scenarios, as part of efforts to develop security legislation to expand the range of potential SDF missions overseas.

During a meeting Monday of a panel on security legislation of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the administration proposed deploying the SDF abroad for rescue missions if a plane carrying a large number of Japanese nationals is hijacked and lands at a foreign airport, according to officials.

The four other scenarios are a Japanese diplomatic establishment being taken over by an armed group; an armed group building barricades near a Japanese diplomatic establishment, a school for Japanese students and other facilities housing Japanese wishing to evacuate to another country; such facilities being blocked by crowds; and Japanese gathered for evacuation being taken away by an armed group to other locations.

The administration requested that SDF personnel be allowed to use weapons to carry out such rescue missions. Specifically, they should be allowed to fire warning shots in the five scenarios.

Carrying out missions in such cases would require the consent of the host countries, the officials said.

The administration said that of the five scenarios, rescuing Japanese from a hijacked plane, would be the most difficult to implement.

Under the current SDF Law, SDF personnel are only allowed to transport Japanese nationals caught up in emergencies overseas and are not allowed to conduct rescue operations.

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