Army poised for action against wild animals
Mon Jun 11, 8:50 AM ET
Japan is preparing to mobilize troops to deal with wild animals such as boars, bears and monkeys.
Having debated since March on how to stop the animals from attacking crops and entering residential areas, a group of ruling party politicians has agreed to call on the military for help, the Asahi Shimbun daily reported Sunday.
Under the ruling party's plan, subject to approval from party executives, local leaders will be able to request help from the country's Self Defense Forces to build fences and set traps.
Some in the party are also calling for troops to use guns, the Asahi said.
But the defense ministry is cautious on the use of weapons, it said. Japan's military activities are strictly curtailed by its pacifist constitution.
Japan sent 600 ground troops to southern Iraq in 2004 on a non-combat reconstruction mission but all returned home last year without suffering casualties or firing a shot.