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May 27, 2017

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Japan warns of grey-zone attacks in military role push

TOKYO--The Japanese government intensified its campaign to widen the role of the country's military Tuesday, by presenting specific security threats that could require the intervention of the Self-Defence Forces, a news report said.

Among the 15 scenarios presented to ruling lawmakers were so-called "grey-zone" incidents that might not be considered direct military attacks on Japan, Kyodo News agency reported.

The scenarios reportedly included a group of armed fighters disguised as fishermen taking control of a remote island, and a Japanese commercial vessel being attacked by pirates.

Divisions over the proposed changes to the role of the military have emerged within Japan's ruling coalition, with the senior partner, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), trying to convince the junior partner, New Komeito, of the need to reinterpret the constitution.

"We cannot say we've reached an agreement," LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura was quoted as saying.

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