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TOKYO: Cities on the northern Japanese coast are setting up hot lines and emergency headquarters and conducting safety drills to prepare for possible falling debris from North Korea's planned rocket launch, officials said Thursday.
North Korea has said it will launch a communications satellite between April 4-8, and has designated waters off northern Japan as a risk zone for falling fragments.
Japan and its allies have said the launch is intended to also test long-range ballistic missile technology. The government is readying an order to deploy a missile shield, including interceptors, to protect against debris that might fall short and hit Japan. The order is expected Friday.