Google opened a cybersecurity research center in Tokyo on Thursday as part of a push to enhance security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The center will focus on enhancing cybersecurity policy discussions, spearheading educational initiatives, developing resources and supporting research with Japanese institutions, a spokesperson said.

Located in the company’s office in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, the center will serve as an Asia-Pacific hub, covering 13 countries.

“We hope to create a sustainable and stronger collaboration with our Japanese partners in the public and private sectors through meaningful connections and knowledge exchange,” the spokesperson said.

The launch ties in with Japan’s annual “Cybersecurity Awareness Month,” which began Feb. 1 and runs through March 18.

Japan is endeavoring to ramp up its online security systems, with the government investing in efforts to develop security software domestically, partnering with companies to enhance corporate training and embarking on a hiring push. Indeed, officials have said that government-targeted cyberattacks are rising.

The government has also sought to deepen regional cybersecurity collaboration with other countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Such efforts follow or have coincided with a number of headline-generating cyberattacks. In 2022, Fujitsu’s cloud-based Fenics internet service — used by government agencies — was struck by cyberattacks, reportedly by Chinese government-linked hackers. And in July 2023, the Port of Nagoya, Japan’s largest by volume, was struck down by a ransomware attack, triggering serious economic consequences.

Between October 2022 and June 2023, the government’s own cybersecurity center suffered a breach, with this once again pinned on Chinese hackers.

Neighboring North Korea is also known for its hacking activities. Hackers from the country have masqueraded as media, diplomatic and defense figures to target governments and business in Japan as part of Pyongyang’s ongoing cyberespionage strategy.