Yachi to lead security secretariat

Kyodo

The government on Tuesday launched the secretariat of its U.S.-style National Security Council, with former Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi picked to lead the new body.

The secretariat will support the council’s core conference to be attended by the prime, foreign and defense ministers and chief Cabinet secretary, while coordinating ministry and agency operations, mainly in the fields of diplomacy and security.

It is also tasked with analyzing information on the international front and sharing it with foreign governments.

Yachi, 70, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, served as the top working-level diplomat during Abe’s first stint in 2006-07.

Two officials — one each from the Foreign and Defense ministries — serve as deputy head of the new organization. The Defense Ministry official is a nonuniformed officer.

Yosuke Isozaki, a House of Councilors member from the Liberal Democratic Party, serves as a national security adviser to support the four-member core meeting.

Yachi plans to visit Washington shortly to meet with U.S. National Security Council officials to tighten bilateral cooperation, government sources said.

Around 60 secretariat officials dispatched from government organizations, including the Foreign and Defense ministries as well as the National Police Agency, form six teams to deal with major challenges, such as China and North Korea.

In November, the Diet enacted a law to create the council to give the prime minister greater power in crafting foreign and security policies to tackle threats in Asia.