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In a controversial move, the Defense Ministry might include a Self-Defense Forces officer as one of the three people it appoints as deputy director general at the Defense Policy Bureau, its powerful policymaking body.

The move, revealed in a draft of its reorganization plan, could fuel concerns about the robustness of civilian control in the national defense apparatus. No SDF officer has ever been assigned to such a senior post in the elite policy bureau, which is mostly manned by civilian officials.

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