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Japanese government sets up panel to discuss counterintelligence measures

Japanese government sets up panel to discuss counterintelligence measures

Japan on Monday set up a panel to discuss how to safeguard national secrets from foreign spies, officials said.
"The issue of counterintelligence is about how to protect Japan's intelligence from foreign countries," top government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a regular news conference.
Formation of the panel, to work out of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office, comes in the wake of the 2004 death of a Japanese diplomat who had alleged he was being blackmailed by Chinese agents to reveal national secrets.
Japan earlier this year accused Beijing of using security agents to pry state secrets from the official at Japan's Consulate General in Shanghai, ultimately driving him to commit suicide in May 2004. China has denied the allegations.
"For the preservation of confidentiality, we should do what must be done properly," Abe told reporters Monday. "This is a matter of common sense in the international community."
The panel, to hold its first meeting Tuesday, will be made up of senior officials from all government ministries and agencies, Shiozaki said.
Separately, a committee was set up Monday to help strengthen the government's ability to gather and respond to information, including natural and other disasters, he said.
Government officials have in the past been criticized for a slow reaction to calamities.
Officials at various ministries and agencies have been instructed to produce a basic policy by the end of February, he said.
Abe, who took office in September, has called for an improvement in the functioning of his office and is seeking to create a Japanese Security Council modeled after the U.S. National Security Council.


Updated : 2021-03-01 03:59 GMT+08:00