National / Politics

Japan's terrorism intelligence unit to be created as early as next month: Abe

Kyodo

As Japan gears up to host the Group of Seven summit next year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will set up a new intelligence-gathering unit on terrorism as early as next month.

“Ahead of the Ise-Shima summit, we will boost our counterterrorism measures and bolstering intelligence gathering with the international community is a pressing issue. For this end, we will create a new intelligence gathering unit,” Abe said at a news conference after wrapping up a series of regional summits Sunday in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Abe’s remarks come as the international community is putting up a united front to combat terrorism in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead.

The next G-7 summit, which will bring together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, will be held in May in Mie Prefecture.

A source said Friday that the government is arranging for the terrorism intelligence unit, which will be set up in the Foreign Ministry, to have four overseas bases — in Amman, Cairo, Jakarta and New Delhi.

The government plans to staff the overseas offices with officials from the Foreign and Defense ministries and the National Police Agency with regional expertise and fluency in local languages, according to the source.

Intelligence teams will be set up at the Japanese embassies in those cities, with the unit’s members given the status of diplomat. The move is also aimed at enhancing cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies.