TOKYO – Japan is considering adding an economic division to the National Security Secretariat, government sources said Wednesday, as part of efforts to enhance the functions of the policy-coordination unit until now primarily focused on foreign affairs.
The planned reform comes as the NSS sees the importance of incorporating economic perspectives more into policy making to address global challenges such as the U.S.-China trade dispute and next-generation 5G network technology, according to the sources.
Although details have yet to be worked out, the envisaged economic division will likely include officials from the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry as well as the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the sources said.
The NSS serves as a body to support the National Security Council, a framework launched in December 2013 as the command center for Japan’s foreign and security policies.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has called for an expanded NSS, which has been led by new chief Shigeru Kitamura, a veteran intelligence officer, since last week.
In March, a group of LDP lawmakers proposed that the government set up an entity modeled after the U.S. National Economic Council, so Japan can better cope with the high-tech rivalry between the United States and China, as well as cyber issues.