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Abe plans to craft national security strategy by year-end

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to put together by year-end a comprehensive national security strategy that embodies Japan’s basic defense and foreign policies, government officials revealed Saturday.

Abe will entrust a panel of experts by mid-September with compiling recommendations on the strategy, which will cover not only defense but also energy, maritime, space, food and cultural issues, the officials said.

The process will be timed to coincide with the planned establishment of an entity based on the U.S. National Security Council, following the enactment of relevant legislation around late November.

The security strategy will also precede a new, long-term national defense program the Abe administration also has decided to craft by the end of the year.

Members of the panel may include former Ambassador to Britain Shin Ebihara and former Vice Defense Minister Kimito Nakae, the officials said, adding Abe will likely attend the group’s first meeting to present his basic views on the strategy to be adopted.

Abe confirmed the time frame for the strategy’s creation at a meeting Aug. 2 with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, the officials added.