Is It Time to Panic?

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wants to boost his nation's international profile. The latest audio-tape message attributed to Osama bin Laden shows he may have succeeded: the al-Qaeda leader named Japan—which has pledged $5 billion in aid to Iraq and is preparing to send troops in December—as one of six U.S. allies targeted for future terrorist attacks. It is the first time al-Qaeda has said Japan is in its sights.

Despite the taunt, most experts consider an al-Qaeda strike on Japan unlikely, due to the nation's tight immigration policies and stepped-up anti-terrorism efforts. At greater risk are Japanese...

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