Japan sets up unit to collect intelligence on terrorism

Tokyo, Dec 4 (IANS) Japan is planning to beef up its anti-terrorism capabilities by setting up a new unit next week to collect intelligence on international terrorism, according to the government’s top spokesman on Friday.

The spokesman, Yoshihide Suga said here the new unit will be launched within the foreign ministry but it will be led by the prime minister’s office.

Experts from the foreign, defence and other ministries will also engage in collecting information regarding the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia, Xinhua cited the report as saying.

Through the launch of the unit, the government will strengthen information gathering and analysis regarding terrorism, beef up security at ports, airports and other key facilities, and step up anti-terrorism training, among other measures.

The move came after a series of deadly terror attacks in Paris on November 13 and the killing of two Japanese nationals by Islamic militants earlier this year.

Japan aims at strengthening its counter-terrorism capacities in order to secure a summit of the Group of Seven to be held here in May 2016, Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

The government here is also considering deploying experts at Japanese diplomatic missions to get first hand information and contact intelligence organs of other countries, government officials said.

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