• Kyodo


With China a suspected source of cyberattacks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Union leaders will agree at a summit in Brussels on May 7 to launch a dialogue to boost cybersecurity, according to a draft of a statement to be issued after the meeting.

“Facing more severe, widespread and globalized risks surrounding cyberspace . . . protection of a safe, open and secure cyberspace is needed,” according to the draft, a copy of which was obtained Sunday.

Abe and the EU leaders, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, will also agree to hold an inaugural meeting of a Japan-EU dialogue on the stable use of outer space in the latter half of this year in Tokyo, the draft says.

Tokyo appears poised to proactively contribute to international rule-making over cyberspace. The launch of a Japan-EU dialogue to promote cooperation on cyberspace would follow similar consultations Japan has held with the United States, Britain and other countries.

In recognition of the threat posed to national security, Japan said in its National Security Strategy adopted in December that it will strengthen information sharing and promote cyberspace defense cooperation with relevant countries.

In the first meeting of the Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue, the two sides are expected to discuss creation of international norms to reduce space debris caused by anti-satellite tests, satellite collisions and other reasons.

“We affirm the importance of safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities,” the draft statement says.

In 2007, China destroyed one of its aging satellites via a missile-driven anti-satellite test, creating a mess of fragments fluttering through space and sparking concern that such debris could seriously damage other satellites nearby.

In the summit, Abe and the EU leaders will reaffirm their shared view that international disputes and issues “should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, not by force or coercion,” the draft says.

The wording apparently refers to the intrusions by Chinese patrol ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in aimed at undermining Japan’s administration of the islets, claimed as Diaoyu by Beijing and Tiaoyutai by Taiwan.

Turning to Ukraine, the Japanese and EU leaders will “strongly condemn” and “will not recognize” Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, while urging Moscow and other parties concerned to “refrain from any steps to further destabilize Ukraine,” the draft says.

The leaders will call for ensuring freedom of navigation in and flight over the open seas, according to the draft, in an apparent criticism of China’s unilateral declaration in November of an air defense identification zone overlapping Japanese airspace over the Senkaku Islands.

Beijing announced rules requiring aircraft entering the zone — which covers an extensive area above the high seas separating China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to file flight plans in advance and follow instructions of Chinese controllers or face “defensive emergency measures.”

Policymakers and experts outside China, however, say Beijing is not in line with international norms.

Among other issues, the EU leaders will welcome an expanded role for Japan in promoting and sustaining global peace and security, as set out in Abe’s policy of proactively contributing to peace based on the principle of international cooperation, it says.

Japan will study the possibility of participating in EU peace missions in Africa and elsewhere, it says.

Brussels will be the last leg of Abe’s six-nation European tour starting Tuesday, following visits to Germany, Britain, Portugal, Spain and France.

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