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Japan launches body to share terrorism information ahead of Olympics

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (R) takes part in the inauguration ceremony for a counter-terrorism information center at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Aug. 1, 2018. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan on Wednesday opened a counter-terrorism information center in Tokyo to enable government entities to exchange information and strengthen antiterrorism measures in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the capital.

The center brings together officials from 11 ministries and agencies, including the National Police Agency and the Foreign Ministry. It will allow them to share information that their respective offices have obtained in a swift and effective manner via each entity's database, officials said.

Others taking part include the Defense Ministry, the Public Security Intelligence Agency and the Japan Coast Guard.

"Amid a severe international terrorism situation surrounding Japan, it is the most important task of the government to protect people's peaceful lives and livelihoods," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a ceremony marking the opening of the center.

Suga stressed that Japan needs to take all possible measures in cooperation with the international community to prevent possible terror attacks as it prepares to host a series of major international events, including the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies' summit next year and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The new center, which will handle information on Islamic militants and other perceived threats, is at the core of a set of counterterrorism guidelines approved in December by the government's task force on international organized crime and terrorism.

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