Japan's Defense Agency is setting up a 600-member team to gather intelligence relevant to its overseas troop deployments, the Asahi Shimbun said Thursday.
The intelligence unit, to be operational in March 2007, will gather information directly from contacts in foreign countries, the newspaper reported.
The new unit will include four teams of 10 specialists, who will be authorized to interview sources overseas to obtain information crucial to the troops' operations.
Comment: I picked up this story at redstar.ru, then found that it's also on the UPI wire. Didn't see it in any major US papers. Interesting that the Russians thought it newsworthy, not us. Redstar does have good correspondence on Far East issues though. Anyone else surprised to find that Japan didn't have a military intelligence unit?