Japan has decided to create a foreign intelligence service for the first time since World War II, according to news reports.
Lacking vital intelligence on the leaders of North Korea and China, Japan is in a vulnerable position. The new agency will be modeled on western services such as the CIA, MI6 and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
The new agency will keep an eye on regional adversaries and gather information to prevent terrorist attacks.
The existence of the agency was revealed by WikiLeaks, which published a secret US diplomatic cable discussing the new espionage initiative.
Japan has been reluctant to move quickly on foreign espionage for fear of alienating diplomatic relations with friendly countries, but the country needs important information the agency could provide.
Japan admitted their best information about North Korean leader Kim Jong-il came from the published memoir of his former sushi chef.