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Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office (CIRO)
Naikaku Jōhō Chōsashitsu (Naichō)
Seal of the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office
Agency overview
Formed1986 (CIRO establishment)
Preceding agencies
  • Research Office (1952)[1]
  • Cabinet Research Chamber[2]/Cabinet Research Office (1957)[1][3]
JurisdictionGovernment of Japan
HeadquartersNagatacho, Tokyo, Japan
Agency executive
  • Kazuya Hara, Director of Cabinet Intelligence
Parent agencyCabinet Secretariat (in Japanese)

The Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office (内閣情報調査室, Naikaku Jōhō Chōsashitsu),[4] also known as Naichō (内調), is a Japanese intelligence agency under the Cabinet Secretariat responsible for gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information for the cabinet. As a principal member of the Japanese intelligence community, the CIRO reports directly to the Prime Minister. Its operations are mandated through the Cabinet Law.[5]

The agency is said to be an equal to the American Central Intelligence Agency.[6] Like most intelligence agencies in Japan, its personnel are usually recruited from other agencies.[7] Around 100 out of 170 CIRO agents are from other agencies/ministries with top positions occupied by career police officers.[8] The CIRO frequently works with the National Security Council as a communication channel to the prime minister.

The CIRO is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, in a building called "H20".[9]


The CIRO was created by the Allied Forces through the formation of the Prime Ministers's Research Office (内閣総理大臣官房調査室, Naikakusōri Daijin Kanbō Chōsa-Shitsu) in April 1952 with Jun Murai as the first director in an attempt to replicate its structure after the CIA.[8] But due to widespread opposition and the factionalism in the bureaucracy, this plan was discarded.[8] The RO was placed under jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's office in 1957 and was known as the Cabinet Research Office (内閣調査室, Naikaku Chōsa-Shitsu).[1] The CRO was later renamed as the CIRO in 1986.[1]

The Cabinet Intensive Information Center was established on April 11, 1996 to ensure that the CIRO can inform the Prime Minister in case of severe emergencies.[6] It's located in the Prime Minister's residence.[6]

In August 2007, discussions of intelligence reforms through the paper Improvement of Counter-Intelligence Functions resulted in the establishment of the Counterintelligence Center.[10] It's been suggested that the CIC can be used as the basis for the creation of an actual external intelligence agency similar to the CIA.[11]

In 2013, CIRO satellite imagery analysis was used to assist NGOs in Tacloban for reconstruction work in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.[12]

Since 2015, CIRO agents are usually recruited to be sent to the International Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Collection Unit.[13][14]

In 2016, the business magazine Facta reported that the government of Shinzo Abe had directed the CIRO to spy on a legal council connected to David Kaye, who as U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of expression stated "deep and genuine concern" on declining media independence in Japan.[15]

On January 12 2024, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center announced that the launch of the Optical-8 satellite was a success, which separated from the missile and has entered orbit.[16]

Spy scandal

On January 17, 2008, an official of Naichō was charged for spying for Russians, passing them classified information. The Russians denied the claim.[17] Since then, there had been calls for greater accountability on Naichō.[18]


Naichō headquarters occupies 6th floor of the Cabinet Office Building

According to its official web site, organization of Naichō is as follows:[19]

Directors of Naichō


  2. ^ "Intelligence in the New Japan — Central Intelligence Agency". Archived from the original on 2008-03-12.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Names of Government Organizations and Positions" (PDF). Cabinet Secretariat. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  5. ^ "The Cabinet Law".
  6. ^ a b c Andrew Oros (2008-06-09). "Japan's Growing Intelligence Capabilities" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  7. ^ "Abe administration considering creating MI6-style spy agency". 6 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Davis and Gustafson, page. 183.
  9. ^ a b Gallagher, Ryan (May 19, 2018). "The Untold Story of Japan's Secret Spy Agency". Archived from the original on May 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Davis and Gustafson, page. 188.
  11. ^ 窪田順生 『スピンドクター モミ消しのプロが駆使する「情報操作」の技術』 講談社+α新書 p.101
  12. ^ "2013年11月 フィリピン台風被災状況推定地図 タクロバン周辺全体" (PDF).
  13. ^ Tatsumi, Yuki. "To Fight Terror, Japan Must Fix Its Intelligence Apparatus". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 2015-06-03.
  14. ^ "Japan's counterterrorism efforts falling short". 5 March 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09.
  15. ^ Fackler, Matthew (27 May 2016). "The Silencing of Japan's Free Press". Foreign Policy (published 2016-05-27). Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  16. ^ "Japan successfully launches an intelligence-gathering satellite to watch for North Korean missiles". Associated Press News. 12 January 2024.
  17. ^ "A Japanese Faces Spy Charges". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on January 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  18. ^ "Japan's Cabinet urges tighter controls amid Russian spy scandal". Retrieved 2009-06-24.
  19. ^ "Organizational Structure | Cabinet Secretariat".
  20. ^ "Japan Places Eighth Reconnaissance Satellite in Orbit – Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. 13 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Briefing Memo" (PDF). May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  22. ^ Dover, Goodman and Hillebrand, page 203
  23. ^ "Japan's sports intelligence can help national-level gathering capabilities". Archived from the original on 2023-04-09.
  24. ^ 内閣危機管理監 (in Japanese). Cabinet Secretariat. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  25. ^ 内閣情報官 (in Japanese). Cabinet Secretariat. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  26. ^ 内閣情報官 (in Japanese). Cabinet Secretariat. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  27. ^ 内閣情報官 (in Japanese). Cabinet Secretariat. Archived from the original on 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  28. ^ "Top Intelligence Post Vacant". Japan Security Watch. Archived from the original on 2016-11-12. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  29. ^ "国家安全保障局長に北村滋氏 谷内氏退任、後任内閣情報官は滝沢氏". 11 September 2019.
  30. ^ "内閣情報官 瀧澤 裕昭(たきざわ ひろあき)|内閣官房ホームページ".
  31. ^ "政府 内閣情報官に警察庁 原和也警備局長を起用". NHK. 27 June 2023. Retrieved 28 August 2023.