politics

Japan eyes MI6-style spy agency

54 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo

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54 Comments
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Abe's on a roll.

In the 1920s and 30s Japan creeped into fascism over several years. Now it's taking months.

What's the rush?

9 ( +22 / -13 )

They would stick out like the bollocks on a dog!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

It would be good to have an intelligence agency, but like the idea of special forces, it will take dedication over decades to develop.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Maybe they could hire Gen Petraeus. I hear he's looking for a job.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Let me count the ways this could go wrong....

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Abe's been watching too many James Bond films.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Nice idea. Japan can recruit agents from its huge multi-ethnic population so they blend in well.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

I dnt think Japan is ready for that yet. An actual Intelligence Agency? Who's gona train them?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Japan's state security apparatus will use laws on secrecy and subversion to suppress information the ruling LDP Party dislikes and lock up the messengers.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

70 years after Allied victors dismantled Japan’s fearsome military intelligence apparatus

You mean what I saw in "You only Live Twice" led by Tiger Tanaka wasn't real?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Honestly if they were going to be smart about this, they would focus exclusively on cyber intelligence and then work in tandem with other intelligence groups.... The "James Bond" type of agents would just be silly.

I believe there are several reasons

1) huge time and effort involved to cultivate connections on the ground when compared to information trading with current agencies. Cyber intelligence can be cultivated much quicker.

2) There is a lack of variety in citizens in Japan to make spies....that is to say, a Japanese man will have a hard time posing as an Afghanistan terrorist or some such.

3) The big one: The paycheck would have to be huge- any Japanese individual with the language ability/training for this work is most likely going to be involved in other things (int'l business for example)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Good one bruinfan. Thumbs up-

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It might work if the spy was masquerading as a Japanese exchange student or transferred worker. Otherwise, I think the katakana pronunciation of everything , in any language they try, would really give them away. "Bondo. Jeimuzu Bondo."

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Other than helping with cyber intelligent's, I can't think of one good thing countries gain by having CIA, MI6, KGB, Mossad. The last thing Japan needs is to waist more money for a secret organization that is above the law.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Isn't this what the Sogo Shousha are doing very successfully anyway? Rearming the military and bringing back the Kempeitai seems a strange way for Abe to lead Japan out of the darkness. I strongly suspect he is a few sandwiches short of a picnic - maybe been spending too much time with Australia's Abbott.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Honestly if they were going to be smart about this, they would focus exclusively on cyber intelligence and then work in tandem with other intelligence groups.... The "James Bond" type of agents would just be silly.

Nowhere in the article does it mention how "they" would go about this. Funny that - you'd figure all of the details of a potential intelligence agency, including strategies, would be in print for one and all on the Internet, right?

tandem with other intelligence groups.

Yes, intelligence sharing is quite common. Hardly surprising.

The "James Bond" type of agents would just be silly.

Almost as silly as some of the imaginations at work here for suggesting it. (If you have no "intelligence", don't make assumptions about how it)

I can't think of one good thing countries gain by having CIA, MI6, KGB, Mossad.

This might change if you do something outrageous like actually read about it.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Will it be called the "Ministry of peace"?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This proposal has me shaken, not stirred.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Double o-baasan?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

probably call it "Hello Kitty 6" to blend in ...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not before time. We need our own maru maru agents to combat insidious espionage from NK and PRC as well as to take the fight to Islamic extremism. And so we can make a ton more movies with some suave J-dude hanging by the bar drinking a mizuwari and chain-smoking Casters. Best Abe initiative so far.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Saying you're going to make it like MI6 is dumb since all the low-info voters/commentators think Bond rather than le Carre.

Better say the BND or the ASIO.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Extremists would be more vigilant against any Japanese in suspicion of their being spies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“To become a ‘normal country’, an intelligence agency is vital,” said Takushoku University professor Takashi Kawakami

Yes, but the economy and state finances need to be addressed before the government can afford to go adding EVEN MORE spending to public expenditures that ALREADY results in 35-40 trillion yen of new debt being added to the quadrillion yen of debt that already exists. This is not the situation of a normal country, either.

When the time comes for the BOJ to stop buying these junk bonds at ridiculous "prices", the government can't still be spending money willy-nilly like this.

We need to see some genuine effort from the government to prioritize different spending options. I get the feeling that this type of spending would be well down the list of your average voter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

low-info voters/commentators

low-iq voters/commentators might be another possibility.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No way, Japan would be a Mr Bean in this area.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sweet, when are they hiring?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This might not be a bad idea, thinking about it. Some of my students have been ideal MI6 material. They're very adept at not giving away any information.

"Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr Kondo, I expect you to try"

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Join the english class.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abe's like a guy sitting on the porch of his house waiting for the repo truck to come and take everything. They know they're broke. They know they've got no future. So they're just making stuff up to entertain themselves.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japan Spy Agency can work.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

the world needs fewer spy agencies. stop sticking your nose in other countries business is best solution

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tiger Tanaka indeed. I welcome this upgrading of Japan's intelligence gathering and counter espionage efforts. Must be plenty of capable spy types (see upskirt camera afficianados, peeping toms) and thieves (see underwear thieves) currently available in Japan.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Ahahaha-- good one Wakarimasen!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's a very readable book on the World War II era Japanese intelligence services titled Japanese Intelligence in World War II http://japanvisitor.blogspot.jp/2009/10/japanese-intelligence-in-world-war-ii.html. Japan's intel was very good but hampered by inter-service rivalry and the bureaucratic failings.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

NPA's Public Security Section and Justice Ministry’s Public Security Intelligence Agency are completely domestic like MI 5 or the FBI so they do not have any turf to what this government is trying to implement. You can also scratch off the Foreign Ministry as well since they are sometime work for the other side so they can score points in their official duties. That leaves the Defense Ministry’s Defense Intelligence Headquarters and Cabinet Intelligence Research Office but neither at the moment are doing any active espionage since there are very little JSDF personnel stationed abroad and the Cabinet Intelligence Research Office is only doing analysis of information that they had gained from other channels mostly from like Renie Regent had posted, the international trade houses like Mitsubishi and Mitsui which are good in gathering overseas financial information and commerce information to evaluate state readiness. They have been doing this ever since they opened office abroad at the beginning of the 20th century. In many sense it's much similar to what predecessors of MI6 had been doing utilizing Britain trade houses like East India Trading company vast amount of connections around the world.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And a spy network would have saved these 2 Japanese hostages....how exactly?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

commanteer

It's not that difficult if Japan had grass root connections utilizing informants with the handlers being NGO and/or ODA on-site personnel that had built a strong personal relationship in the region.

I believe the CIA does the same, infiltrate as NGO personnel to teach at schools and as doctors and nurses in developing nations.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan's intel was very good but hampered by inter-service rivalry and the bureaucratic failings. wasnt good enough as the Allies cracked Japanese codes and was a small part of the defeat of Japan

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can't just start a spy agency like it's a chain restaurant.

I mean, was the Japanese tourist who "accidentally" walked into the Queen's private room a trial run?

Listen, I don't doubt Japan already has spies in China, Korea, and in the U.S., but you can't walk before you crawl in this modern world of terrorism and spying.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

JPIA Japan Pacifist Intelligence Agency

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, the laughs we will have.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japans suprise sneak attacks are the reason we need intelligence agencies so badly.

Didnt have one in the US till after they hit us.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Emmu: Get him, James, you have a license to kill!

Bondo: That may be true. But I'm a peipaa doraibaa.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan already has japanese public as spies to watch over there Neighbors , From following there Foreigh Neighbors to collaboration throughout the Neighbourhod to watch and often planting malice and underneath Anti social behaviour , sure they must already hav intelligent underground but not publicly !

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

First rule of MI6-style Spy Agency?

You know....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan eyes MI6-style spy agency

MI6....Hmm I would rather see a mix of MI6 and CIA, hell throw in Britain's SAS for fun......

Japan has needed a real intelligence agency to actually investigate threats to their nation for a long long time.....Hope they start with all the North Korean and Communist China agents here.....Imagine how many Left wing politicians and pachinko parlor owners that will be dragged off and deported!!!

Things will get more brighter!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They should create a spy agency based on the one they had in You Only Live Twice:

Tiger Tanaka to 007 after pulling him in off the street with ease: "I must say I am disappointed with the ease with which I could pull you in. The one thing my honourable mother taught me long ago was never to get into a car with a strange girl. But you, I'm afraid, will get into anything. With any girl."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Two people killed by IS is just an excuse. When the NPA takes the lead, the direction is clear: the target are Japanese citizen in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Blofeld: "This is the penalty for failure, Mr Bond"

...

Nothing happens.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe Abe can call up the remnants of the old Black Dragon Society (Kokuryu-kai) or the now Black Dragon Club (Kokuryū-Kurabu) to train those agents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Perhaps they could be ninjas?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gogogoMar. 10, 2015 - 12:07PM JST Perhaps they could be ninjas?

British SAS or the CIA's SAD would be what you are talking about and I would agree with you......

Japan needs a group that does whatever it has to do to get the job done no matter what!

Now, what to call it????

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no substitute for Human Intel. (HUMINTEL).......just ask the CIA

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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