Full Minutes of Expert Meeting on National Defense Posted by Cabinet Office

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo

Full minutes of the Advisory Panel to Comprehensively Discuss Defense Capabilities as National Strength have been posted on the Cabinet Secretariat’s website, as part of the government’s efforts to increase transparency of discussions and broaden the public’s understanding.

The panel met four times from September through November, and the contents of its report were incorporated into the National Security Strategy that was revised in December.

This is an exceptional case where all the minutes of a security-related conference, including the names of the speakers, have been made public.

The files revealed that there were a number of opinions pointing out the necessity of possessing counterattack capabilities and calling for an improved environment to promote research and development that contributes to security.

Regarding the counterattack capabilities, Kyoto University Prof. Hiroshi Nakanishi said that for Japan to drastically enhance its defense, it should “amplify the equipment for counterattack capabilities as well.”

Tetsuro Kuroe, a former administrative vice defense minister, said: “It is already too late to discuss whether to possess such capabilities. How to activate the capabilities [is what we should be discussing].”

In the area of research and development, Takahiro Ueyama, a member of the Cabinet Office’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, said, “It is necessary to create special spaces within and beyond universities where security-related research can be conducted with peace of mind.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings President Toshikazu Yamaguchi said, “The government as a whole must take a stance, which goes beyond the sectionalism of ministries and agencies, to work for research and development in new domains linked to defense, such as space, cyber and electromagnetic waves.”