06 Mar 2015 channelnewsasia.com
TOKYO: Japan is looking into creating an overseas intelligence agency possibly modelled on Britain's MI6 spy service, ruling party lawmakers say, 70 years after Allied victors dismantled Japan's fearsome military intelligence apparatus following World War II.
A new foreign intelligence agency would be an integral part of a security framework Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is building as he seeks to loosen the post-war pacifist constitution's limits on the military's ability to operate overseas.
The idea that Japan's fragmented intelligence community needs a makeover has also gained momentum since the killing of two Japanese captives by Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this year showed how much Tokyo relied on friendly countries for information.
Abe has already set up a US-style National Security Council and enacted strict state secrets legislation, and is now working on laws to lift a ban on exercising the right of collective self-defence, or militarily aiding an ally under attack.