日本版NSC 情報収集・分析力も強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 25, 2013
Info-gathering, analysis capability must be bolstered in creating NSC
日本版NSC 情報収集・分析力も強化せよ(5月24日付・読売社説)

It has been noted for many years that the existing Security Council of Japan exists as a mere formality.

A control tower to discuss and lead the nation’s diplomatic and security policies must be created quickly.

The government has disclosed a draft of a bill to establish a National Security Council, or a Japanese version of the U.S. NSC.

The pillar of the planned legislation is a regular meeting of the prime minister, chief cabinet secretary, foreign minister and defense minister. The Japanese National Security Council must be recognized as the decision-making body for Japan’s diplomatic and national security strategies, according to the draft.

Periodic talks essential

The framework of the current Security Council of Japan, comprising the prime minister and eight other Cabinet members, would remain intact and deliberate the fundamentals of security policies and related issues, the draft says.

Depending on the matters concerned, a meeting of six or seven Cabinet members, or one made up of the four key ministers, plus such members as the land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister and the national public security commission chairman, would take place anytime it is needed, according to the draft.
The government plans to submit the bill to the Diet in early June.

It is considerably difficult for the current council, which consists of as many as nine members, to have in-depth, substantive discussions and reach swift conclusions.

Although there have been unofficial meetings of the four key Cabinet members, the envisioned legislation for giving conferences statutory status as an official organ is significant.

On the occasion of launching the government-envisaged NSC, it will be important to solidly establish such arrangements as having major Cabinet members consult periodically, about once every two weeks, to craft strategies and policies from a medium- and long-term perspective as well as comprehensive points of view. All government ministries and agencies concerned will need to fully coordinate to support the NSC.

In addition, the posts of the chief cabinet secretary, foreign minister and defense minister must always be filled by highly competent individuals. These important posts should also come with guaranteed term lengths to ensure the right people are in place should they be needed.

The practical operations of crisis management, such as those for coping with emergencies, would be left not to the secretariat of the NSC, but continue to be the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretariat headed by the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management, according to the draft.

It makes sense that the draft says the NSC would not be in charge of dealing with such matters as a massive domestic disaster.

However, as far as issues relating to the country’s diplomacy and security, such as the hostage crisis in Algeria in January and a North Korea missile launch, are concerned, the NSC secretariat should work closely with the the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management.

National security and intelligence capabilities are inextricably linked together. To beef up the quality of security policies, the enhancement of information-gathering and analysis capabilities is crucial. The government must buckle down and foster experts in intelligence activities.

Learn lessons from Iraq War

The draft has called for the appointment of “information liaison officers” at government organizations concerned, including the foreign and defense ministries and police and public security agencies, making it obligatory that they provide information to the NSC.

Japan’s intelligence organizations have long been mocked as being “unable to pass information to superiors, share it with other bodies or keep it from leaking.”

This points to the problems of failing to have important information conveyed to the Prime Minister’s Office, not sharing information with other government entities, and not preventing leaks.

By drawing lessons from the failure of the United States in starting a war with Iraq, the government, while abiding by the principle of separation of policy formulation and information analysis, must firmly build a system to ensure prompt conveyance of information.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2013)
(2013年5月24日01時02分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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