Asia-Japan to speed up intel gathering against terrorism

In the wake of the deadly assaults in Paris last week and the continuing terror threats from the Islamic State (ISIS),Japan is reportedly planning to put up a unit that will speed up its intelligence gathering against terrorism.

“Given recent developments, we believe it is extremely important to strengthen the government’s intelligence capabilities,”Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in a recent gathering, according to Reuters.

“Regarding the unit for international terrorism information gathering, we would like to accelerate our effort so that it can be established in a speedy manner,” he added.

Suga did not reveal when the unit would be set up, although local reports had claimed that the unit could be in place as early as February next year and have about 20 staff.

Japan’s new terrorism intelligence unit will have officials from the defense ministry, national police agency and other government organizations, in addition to the foreign ministry’s own staff, according to a local newspaper, Nikkei business daily.

The Japan official believes that Friday’s attack on Paris has ramped up terrorism concerns across the world, with global leaders stepping up their fight against the terror group.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government announced the decision to set up the intelligence-gathering unit after ISIS killed Japanese hostages.

The latest concern over terrorism comes as Japan is scheduled to host a series of high-profile events such as the Group of Seven (G-7) summit meeting next year, the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, said Reuters.