Defense Intelligence Headquarters
Official seal of the Defense Intelligence Headquarters
|Formed||January 20, 1997|
|Headquarters||Ichigaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo|
|Employees||2,451 personnel (2012)|
|Parent agency||Japanese Ministry of Defense|
|Website||Official Site (Japanese)|
The Defense Intelligence Headquarters (情報本部 Jōhōhonbu?) is the official signals intelligence agency of the Japanese government, under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Ministry of Defense. It is currently one of the biggest Japanese intelligence agencies with its creation and structure modeled after the American Defense Intelligence Agency.
Back in the 1980s, the former Japanese Defense Agency had several intelligence divisions with different duties. Among these intelligence division in the Defense Agency had included those from the Central Data Command Unit, the Joint Staff Council's Second Office and the three branches of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. A supposed plan to integrate the intelligence divisions of the three JSDF branches started in 1988 before lack of cooperation and subordination ended it.
Plans to consolidate all the intelligence bureaus of the old Defense Administration into one agency had started in the 1990s after the Diet of Japan had passed a law on May 1996, calling for the creation of a central military intelligence agency before the DIH was eventually established on January 20, 1997 after intelligence units from the JSDF, Japanese Defense Agency and the Joint Staff council are united with the appointment of Lieutenant General Kunimi Masahiro as the agency's first commanding officer. Initially, DIH civilian and military staff members were numbered at 1,580 with a planned manpower of 2,000 personnel before it reached its current manpower of 2,300 staff members. In 2011, the manpower is 1,907 members
Spy satellites had been planned for launch in 1998 as part of augmenting the DIH's intelligence gathering capabilities. Though two were able to launch into space, two more were destroyed in a botch attempt to send them to space.
In 2005, the DIH has suffered its first internal leak of classified information when a Colonel in the JASDF had been arrested for allegedly leaking information regarding the accident of a People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine that took place in the same year in the South China Sea
- After a North Korean Taepodong-1 ballistic missile had been launched on August 31, 1998, JSDF ships and aircraft began to search the Sea of Japan to collect any debris of the missile with the DIH providing intelligence support such as dispatching North Korean specialists to the United States over the matter.
- North Korean radio communications were intercepted by the SIGINT division's Kikaijima, Kagoshima radio monitoring station. The successful interception of North Korean communications later led to a naval shootout between ships of the Japan Coast Guard and a suspected North Korean spy boat in 2001 near the island of Amami-Ōshima before the latter had been destroyed.
- The DIH had provided intelligence to JGSDF forces that were deployed in Indonesia during the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake.
The DIH is under the jurisdiction of the Joint Staff Council and is controlled by the Defense Intelligence Committee, which is made up of the heads of the JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF with the Joint Staff Council chairman alongside the Japanese Defense Minister and Senior Vice-Minister of Defense.
|General Headquarters/Administration Division||Provides administrative and logistics support|
|Planning Division||Conducts HUMINT-related activities|
|Imagery Division||Analyzes satellite images bought from American commercial satellites or from the JGSDF's Central Geographical Command located in Tachikawa, Tokyo|
|SIGINT Division||Analyzes SIGINT intelligence. Is responsible for its electronics unit in Ichigaya to monitor North Korea-based communications. It also manages two CDAA 'elephant cages,' as well as six other communications offices. They are located in Kobunato, Niigata Prefecture, Oi, Saitama Prefecture, Tachiarai, Fukushima Prefecture and Kikaijima, Kagoshima Prefecture.|
|Analysis/Assessment Division||Summarizes/assesses intelligence from Japanese military attachés serving abroad, intelligence from friendly nations and from DIH collaborators and agents|
|Joint intelligence Division||Collect and analyse intelligence which is needed to cope with immediately, and support Chief of JSO and SDFs directly. This division is a part of DIH, but also is expected to be used as J-2 of JSO.|
The main role of the DIH is to collect information and analyse for planning defense and operation policy. The agency collect information from open sources, signals and image intelligence as well as from other Japanese government ministries, Japanese embassies and other affiliated ministries and organizations. In addition, they also gather intelligence through surveillance activities.
The seal of the DIH consist of the following symbols:
- Pheasant – Quality of intelligence gathering at high speed
- Red oval shapes around Earth – Positions of spy satellites
- Lightning – Radio waves
- Star – Section and Stations of the DIH
Known DIH directors
DIH directors are usually positioned by a Lieutenant General from the JGSDF/JASDF or a Vice Admiral from the JMSDF.
- Fumio Ota
- Kenichiro Hokazono; the former Chief of Air Staff
- Koji Shimohira; the present director
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- Official Site (Japanese)