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Last year, in an acknowledgment of the growing importance of economic issues in national security thinking, the Japanese government added an economic division to the National Security Secretariat (NSS). On Wednesday, Japan’s newly reorganized National Security Council (NSC) got down to business. It is a smart move, given the new realities of foreign relations and global competition, but it will be a tough job.

The range of concerns is wide and growing, and readying the country for these challenges will require imagination, foresight and mastery of the bureaucracy — skills that are hard to cultivate, especially given the day-to-day demands of the NSC.

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