Security advisers may be outsiders

JIJI

The government may appoint someone from the private sector to the proposed post of national security adviser to the prime minister, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

The government may also pick the head of the new national security bureau from the private sector, Suga told a meeting Monday of the Lower House Special Committee on National Security.

“Both of the special government posts could be occupied by private-sector experts,” Suga said.

The comments came as the Lower House panel started discussions on legislation designed to launch a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council. The national security adviser and national security bureau chief would play key roles in the council.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said the government will draw up strict rules on the control of documents in the national security bureau even before a proposed confidentiality law aimed at protecting state secrets takes effect.

The government and the ruling coalition aim to get both the NSC and confidentiality bills enacted before the special Diet session set ends in early December.

Also at the committee meeting, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera expressed eagerness to review the country’s restrictions on arms exports.