US to extend its cyber security protection over Japan

US and Japan extend their military cooperation as Washington brings Tokyo under its cyber defense umbrella in wake of increasing deficit against cybersecurity threats posed by China and North Korea

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Japan will be brought to the United States cyber defense protection against the growing threat of online attacks on military bases and infrastructures, Washington and Tokyo stated on Saturday.

"We note a growing level of sophistication among malicious cyber actors, including non-state and state-sponsored actors," the US-Japan Cyber Defense Policy Working Group said in a joint statement.

The US and Japan have recently agreed to enhance their military cooperation which also consisted of cybersecurity when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Washington in April.

During the meeting with the PM Abe, the US President Barack Obama pledged to increase Japan’s security measures against a possible Chinese offensive in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both the US and Japan have long been worrying over China and North Korea’s increasing capabilities of cyber attacks which became one of the most efficient ways of security threats posed by both Beijing and Pyongyang in the recent years.

Japan hosts the biggest US military contingent in Asia and its military's cyber defense is comparably very weak and vulnerable to the foreign cyber attacks, particularly the country was preparing to organize the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The US-Japan cybersecurity statement is said to have contributed to join "efforts for addressing various cyber threats, including those against Japanese critical infrastructure and services utilized by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and US Forces."

The US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who met his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, verified that the parties agreed on a wider cybersecurity cooperation in April that enables to retaliate with cyber weapons in order to dissuade the aggressors.

Cybersecurity had come to the fore again when an allegedly North Korean cyber attack last year targeted the Sony Pictures Entertainment over the release of the movie “The Interview,” which tells the story of an assassination attempt on Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The US was allegedly said to have attempted to launch a cyber attack against North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme five years ago, but it ultimately failed to succeed, according to intelligence people familiar with the covert intelligence campaign.

The alleged cyber attack on North Korea was committed five years ago with the now-famous Stuxnet computer virus, which was also used to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme in 2009 and 2010.

Meanwhile, Chinese Defense Ministry raised its concerns over the US-Japan joint strategy on cybersecurity which China regarded as it might worsen tension over Internet security.

The US and China frequently accuse each other of hacking attacks, but both parties deny the allegations as baseless and nonsense.

TRTWorld and agencies