Japan, Us Launch Joint Intel - Sharing Unit

Japan, US launch joint intel-sharing unit

Japan's Self-Defense Forces and US forces in Japan have launched a joint unit that will share, analyze and process information gathered from their assets, including drones and vessels.

The Japan-US Bilateral Intelligence Analysis Cell, or BIAC, was set up at the US Yokota Air Base in Tokyo.

Self-Defense Forces Vice Chief of Staff Suzuki Yasuhiko and Ricky Rupp, commander of US Forces Japan, attended a ceremony to mark its opening on Tuesday.

Japan's Defense Ministry says about 30 personnel from both sides will analyze information and images collected by aircraft and ships.

They include US MQ-9 Reaper drones that went into operation at the SDF Kanoya Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in November.

Some of the gathered intelligence will be shared in real time.

The cell is reportedly the first organization specialized in sharing and analyzing information gathered by the SDF and the US military.

Japanese defense officials say they want to contribute to regional peace and stability by strengthening Japan-US cooperation in surveillance and other activities.