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New counter-terrorism intelligence unit to be manned by four experts

(Bungeishunju: January 2016 – p. 236)


 The counter-terrorism intelligence unit that will be set up ahead of schedule at the initiative of the Prime Minister’s Office will be manned by four security experts who have earned the confidence of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.


 Among them are Kazuhiro Sugita, deputy chief cabinet secretary from the National Police Agency, and Yasuhiko Nishimura, deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management. Sugita was head of the security bureau at the NPA when the Aum Shinrikyo cult group launched a horrific terrorist attack on the Tokyo metropolis 20 years ago. Nishimura was director of the first security section at the Metropolitan Police Department back then.


 The remaining two are Shigeru Kitamura, director of cabinet intelligence at the Cabinet Secretariat, and Hiroaki Takizawa, former head of the foreign affairs and intelligence department at the NPA. The latter will be named as the chief of the new intelligence unit.


 The four officials all have experience working overseas. Sugita and Kitamura have worked as first secretaries at the Japanese Embassy in France. Nishimura worked as first secretary at the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines. He also played a leadership role in the G-8 summit held in Okinawa in 2000 as head of the prefectural police department and during the 2002 World Cup that Japan co-hosted with South Korea as director of the security division at the NPA.


 The team will be supported by Kiyotaka Takahashi, superintendent general of the Metropolitan Police Department, and Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, head of the foreign affairs and intelligence department at the NPA. Takahashi demonstrated leadership in policing the G-8 summit in Hokkaido in 2008 and arresting Fusako Shigenobu, leader of the Japanese Red Army Faction. Matsumoto is well-versed in terrorism intelligence in the Middle East. He is the author of a book called “Global Jihad.” (Abridged)

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