Abe to pick senior SDF officer as security aide for 1st time

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will for the first time pick a senior Self-Defense Forces officer as his aide on security and crisis-management issues, a government official said Friday.

The appointment of Maj. Gen. Jun Nagashima of the Air Self-Defense Force, effective Aug. 22, signals Japan's increasing alarm at nuclear and missile threats by North Korea as well as China's maritime assertiveness.

The decision "reflects the prime minister's desire to make orders based on quick analyses" in major security events, the senior government official said.

Nagashima, 52, joined the ASDF in 1985 after graduating from the National Defense Academy of Japan. He was assigned in Brussels from 2004 to 2007, cultivating connections with European officials, before becoming information officer in Japan's Defense Ministry in 2011, mainly covering China, Russia and North Korea.