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Japanese paper says Soviets issued brief war alert Aug. 15

A leading Japanese newspaper said Monday that the Soviet Far Eastern Army issued a coded signal on Aug. 15 saying it was going into a state of war with the United States but withdrew it 30 minutes later.

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The Yomiuri Shimbun said the signal, intercepted in Tokyo, was issued from the Soviet Pacific port of Vladivostok to a special troop unit in nearby Ussrysk , and said US forces in Japan and Japanese authorities then went into a state of high alert.

The reported signal followed a joke by President Reagan on Aug. 13, in which Mr. Reagan said during a voice test for a radio broadcast that he had signed legislation outlawing Russia and added: ''We begin bombing in five minutes.''

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