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LDP to propose strategy-making body encompassing economic, foreign and security policy

Akira Amari is seen during an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on March 19, 2019. (Mainichi/Naoki Watanabe)

TOKYO -- The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to propose to the government the establishment of the Japanese version of a "national economic council" (NEC) tasked with developing strategy on the economy, diplomacy and national security in an integrated manner.

The move envisages crisis scenarios including one in which the share prices of a company holding crucial technology plunge after being targeted in cyberattacks and it is acquired by a foreign firm. The LDP will urge the government to architect a system under which it can devise strategies and deal with various situations while sharing information with other countries.

The plan was unveiled by Akira Amari, former economic revitalization minister and chairman of the LDP legislators' group for rule-making strategies, during an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on March 19.

With China and other countries' moves in mind, Amari said, "Those countries are pushing forward with their strategies encompassing the economy, foreign and security policies. Moves to make other countries follow their intentions by means of economic power and sanctions have become more astute and intricate," Amari said.

The group will compile its proposal at a meeting of the party legislators' group on March 20.

While the United States has its own version of the NEC, Japan "has lacked a mechanism with which it can respond to issues based on economic and foreign strategy as there is no department tasked with such a strategy," Amari pointed out. "We would like to raise the issue through our proposal," he said.

Currently, the Japanese government has the National Security Council (NSC), which was modeled after the U.S. version of the NSC, for developing foreign and security policy, and the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy for mapping out economic policy.

Under the proposal, the Japanese version of the NEC will gather information on suspicious access to networks of private companies through organizations including police and government bodies overseeing those firms, and share the information with the United States' NEC and other bodies. The Japanese NEC will also be empowered to prop up share prices by mobilizing government-affiliated funds when stock prices plunge due to suspected cyberattacks.

(Japanese original by Kenji Wada and Kenji Shimizu, Business News Department)

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