Assessing Reform of the Japanese Intelligence Community

  • Citation: Yoshiki Kobayashi, “Assessing Reform of the Japanese Intelligence Community,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 30:2 (2017): 340-367.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict and Security
    • Keywords:
    • East Asia
    • Japan
    • Intelligence Community
    • policymakers
    • collection
    • reform

Since the early 2000s, the Government of Japan has undertaken intensive efforts to reform its Intelligence Community (IC) in response to recent rapid changes of the national security environment surrounding Japan, such as increasing threats of terrorism, and North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, among others. The major objectives have been: (1) establishing an effective institutional mechanism connecting policymakers and the IC and (2) improving intelligence collection capabilities.

Only a few academic studies have so far dealt with Japan’s IC. Andrew Oros’s research examined the historical background of the development of Japan’s IC into the 2000s,1 but did not thoroughly cover the more recent community reform efforts. William Radcliffe thoroughly investigated the recent development of Japan’s satellite intelligence program,2 but did not touch on other aspects of the IC. Some recent articles, such as Ken Kotani’s,3 have dealt with the current situation but have not provided a through academic analysis of the subject. In sum, to date, no comprehensive academic study has thoroughly examined the results of the IC reform that Japan has undertaken since the early 2000s.

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