Japan names China, Russia and North Korea as cyberspace threats

The Japanese government on Monday adopted a draft cybersecurity strategy for the next three years, naming China, Russia and North Korea for the first time as cyberattack threats.

The strategy, which is expected to be approved by Cabinet soon, said the situation in cyberspace contains the “risk of quickly becoming a critical situation” and that all three states are suspected of being involved in hostile cyber activities.

He also said that Japan will take “severe countermeasures using all available effective means and capabilities,” including diplomatic responses and criminal prosecution.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato (left) attends a meeting on cybersecurity strategy at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo on September 27, 2021 (Kyodo)

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato urged members of the cybersecurity strategic headquarters to “work with local governments while paying sufficient attention to public trust and the continued implementation of the measures set out in the strategy ”.

Japan has not confirmed any cyberattacks affecting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, he said.

Japan will accelerate cyberspace cooperation with its Quad partners – the United States, Australia and India – as well as with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to the draft strategy. , in an apparent effort to counter the growing weight of China.

From the point of view of eliminating risks to economic activities, the strategy noted the need to ensure that critical infrastructure such as submarine cables are well protected and to create new standards of safety and reliability. for computing devices.

With the launch of the Digital Agency on September 1 to promote the digitization of the country, the project called for the simultaneous promotion of cybersecurity and digital reforms.

The strategy, which will replace the current one adopted in July 2018, drew criticism from China as “baseless slander” against China and Russia when it was drafted in July.

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