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Japan Reorganizes Security Leadership as Neighborhood Gets Dangerous

Japan will establish a National Security Council similar to America’s if a bill passes through Parliament as expected in the coming weeks. (As backdrop to the decision, just a few days ago China made a similar move.) The reorganization will consolidate defense decision-making processes under the authority of Shinzo Abe:

The proposed entity will expand the command functions of the prime minister’s office in drawing up security policy and gathering intelligence. […]

Employing 60 security specialists from various fields, the NSC would be a significant upgrade from the existing Security Council established in 1986 which has been criticized for being too bureaucratic and lacking decision-making authority or a long-term strategy.

Establishing an NSC is an important step toward Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s goal of making Japan a “normal” nation, with active defense and security policies. Abe pitched the idea back when he was prime minister in 2006, but now, amid a more complicated and dangerous security environment in East Asia, it’ll be a reality.

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