Public Security Intelligence Agency

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Public Security Intelligence Agency
PSIA English logo.jpg
Official logo in English
Agency overview
FormedJuly 21, 1952; 66 years ago (1952-07-21)
Preceding agency
  • Special Investigation Board[1]
JurisdictionGovernment of Japan
HeadquartersChiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Employees+/- 1,646 officers (As of 2019)[2]
Annual budget15,039,257,000 Yen (As of 2019)[3]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Seimei Nakagawa, Director-General
Parent agencyMinistry of Justice
WebsiteOfficial Site ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese)
PSIA building

The Public Security Intelligence Agency (公安調査庁, kōanchōsa-chō) is the national intelligence agency of Japan. It is administered by the Ministry of Justice in the government of Japan, and is tasked with internal security and espionage against threats to Japanese national security based on the Subversive Activities Prevention Act and the Act Regarding the Control of Organizations Which Committed Indiscriminate Mass Murder.[4][5] Any investigation conducted by the agency needs to go through the Public Security Examination Commission in order to determine if there is a justification to investigate and clamp down on an organization's activities.[6]

As the national agency with the role to collect intelligence information, the PSIA contributes to Japanese government policy by providing relevant organizations with necessary foreign and domestic data (collected through investigations and intelligence activities) on subversive organizations.[4] It is also known that the PSIA is responsible for conducting surveillance and intelligence-related work on Zainichi Koreans on Japanese soil.[4] It conducts its operations on domestic soil.[7]

The PSIA's findings are released publicly through the annually-published Naigai Jousei no Kaiko to Tenbo (Situation in Public Security inside and outside Japan and their prospect) as well as regularly-published Kokusai Terrorism Youran (International Terrorism Report).[6]

According to Philip H.J. Davies and Kristian Gustafson, the PSIA operates similarly to MI-5[8] since officers have no rights to arrest anyone during a law enforcement operation nor force anyone to be involved in an investigation.[6][1]


The Public Security Intelligence Agency was established with the enforcement of the Subversive Activities Prevention Law on 21 July 1952.[5] The PSIA took over the role of the SIB, which was established by the Allied Forces during the occupation.[1] Most of the recruits came from the disbanded Tokumu Kikan and led by officials from the pre-occupation Ministry of Justice.[1]

Initially focusing on threats from far left groups such as the Japanese Red Army during the days of the Cold War, it began to conduct intelligence work on the Aum Shinrikyo after the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995,[4] with criticism that the PSIA did not monitor the group, especially with their attempt to acquire and stockpile biological weapons on Japanese soil.[7] The PSIA had cooperated with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Public Security Bureau in investigating Aum Shinrikyo for a number of years. When asked about their investigation on the cult, a PSIA report had said "There has been no change in its dangerous nature. Strict surveillance is essential."[9]

The PSIA had investigated Aum Shinrikyo when it was revealed that the group had established software firms that could pose security risks to Japan.[10]

Chongryon has been under PSIA surveillance for a long time, suspecting it of supposedly performing espionage activities in Japanese soil.[11] The Ministry of Justice has sought ¥270 million to fund the PSIA on conducting intelligence against North Korean espionage activities.[12] Its facilities were also raided by the PSIA while sentencing for its leaders were underway in 2004.[13]

The PSIA had been supposed to be integrated with Naicho in order to reorient the agency to a post-Cold War and to enhance Naicho's resources, but the proposal was not adopted.[7]

An investigation into French Al-Qaeda terrorist Lionel Dumont had been the responsibility of the PSIA in 2004 based on rumors that he was suppose to establish a Japanese Al-Qaeda cell.[14] The PSIA raided the headquarters of Fumihiro Joyu's Hikari no Wa on May 10, 2007.[15] Despite insistence from Joyu that his group had ended ties with Aum Shinrikyo, PSIA officials have warned that his group has ties to Shoko Asahara after conducting raids.[16]

In the wake of Kim Jong-il's death in 2011, the PSIA reported that they are undertaking intelligence work on North Korea by conducting intelligence work towards Chongryon, as they had remitted money and gifts to North Korea before sanctions were imposed.[17]

In 2015, the PSIA offered university students a one-day immersion to work alongside veteran PSIA officers.[18]

On July 14, 2016, the PSIA sent officers to Sapporo to investigate Aleph's Shiroshi Ward facility under the Act on the Control of Organizations Which Have Committed Acts of Indiscriminate Mass Murder.[19]

In recent years, the PSIA is eyed as the basis for the creation of a new foreign intelligence agency should Prime Minister Abe go through with plans.[20]


The PSIA is formed with the current organization:[21]

  • Internal Departments
    • General Affairs Department
    • First Intelligence Department (Domestic Intelligence)[6]
    • Second Intelligence Department (Foreign Intelligence)[6]
  • Institute
    • Training Institute
  • Regional Bureaus
    • Public Security Intelligence Bureaus (Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Takamatsu)
      • Public Security Intelligence Offices (Kushiro, Morioka, Saitama, Chiba, Yokohama, Niigata, Nagano, Shizuoka, Naha, Kobe, Okayama, Kumamoto, Kyoto and Kanazawa)

Foreign ties[edit]

The PSIA has ties to several foreign intelligence as security agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Mossad, RAW and MI6, with several PSIA agents being invited to train with the CIA under its Intelligence Analysis Course.[4]

Known Directors-General of PSIA[edit]


The PSIA has faced criticism in the past for being ineffective, in part due to being regulated by the laws if they run a request through the PSEC.[6] The criticism was especially made when the public found that the agency did not move against Aum Shinrikyo.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e Public Security Investigation Agency. Retrieved on January 5, 2008.
  5. ^ a b HISTORICAL BACKGROUND, Official PSIA Webpage. Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on January 5, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f
  7. ^ a b c d Japan's Growing Intelligence Capabilities, Andrew Oros. Archived 2009-03-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Davis and Gustafson, page. 185.
  9. ^ JAPANESE OFFICIALS FEAR RESURGENCE OF AUM SHINRI KYO CULT. Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Aum Shinri-kyo Updates (CESNUR) - April 10-17, 2000.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Japan Primer". University of Texas. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Cult group of former Aum official inspected by public safety agency. Retrieved on May 10, 2007.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Japan Raises Info-Gathering Activities in Response to Kim Jong-il’s Death
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ ORGANIZATION, Official PSIA Webpage. Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b


  • Davies, Philip H.J.; Gustafson, Kristian, eds. (2013). Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 978-1589019560.

External links[edit]