Japan launched a new counterterrorism unit in an air of secrecy Tuesday, with journalists only allowed to photograph its 24 members from behind.
The country is expanding its international espionage work after being shocked by the deaths of five Japanese citizens at the hands of Islamic militants this year. The recent Paris attacks have also raised fears ahead of a Group of Seven summit in Japan next year and the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
It’s mostly uncharted territory for Japan, which has never suffered a terror attack by outsiders in its modern history.
“The country is inexperienced, and its counterterrorism capability is untested,” said Motonobu Abekawa, a former official at the Public Security Intelligence Agency and a terrorism studies expert at Nihon University. “People have long thought terrorist attacks are a distant problem abroad.” Read More