1,000 more staff requested to meet threats

Japanese ministries and agencies are asking the government for more personnel to deal with growing threats from terrorism, cyberattacks and infectious diseases including COVID-19.

The officials have requested a net increase of more than 1,000 staff for the fiscal year beginning next April.

The Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs says additional staff requested by each ministry and agency totals 7,442, excluding temporary workers.

Security is a major factor behind the moves. An additional 1,822 officials have been requested to enhance responses against terrorism and cyberattacks, and strengthen maritime security and safety.

Another 875 personnel are being called for to bolster diplomacy and national security.

An extra 494 officials have been requested to deal with infectious diseases.

Ministries and agencies say they can reduce existing personnel by 6,418, by streamlining work processes.

This brings the requested net increase to 1,024.

Meanwhile, the National Police Agency has asked for the establishment of a new bureau to deal with cybercrimes.

The Ministry of the Environment has requested the appointment of a senior official to help meet the government's target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The requests will be studied by the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs before the end of the year, when the budget for the next fiscal year is drafted.