Defense cybersecurity unit planned

Kyodo

The Defense Ministry said Thursday it will create a team of experts to counter cyber-attacks and prevent them from threatening national security.

“We are seeing more complicated and sophisticated cyber-attacks than before, and it’s a big threat,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said. “We need to work closely with U.S. authorities.”

By next March, around 90 people will be assigned to the team at the joint staff office to monitor the computer networks of the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces around the clock, ministry officials said.

The United States and South Korea have both fallen victim to cyber-attacks blamed on China and North Korea.

Japan is apparently trying to catch up — cybersecurity is an area Tokyo had considered “low priority,” according to one ministry official — by concluding a comprehensive dialogue with the United States this month to boost cooperation.