• Kyodo

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The government will set up a program in the next fiscal year to train specialists in countering cyberattacks on electricity distribution and other important infrastructure, a government source said Sunday.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to allocate funds for the program in an extra budget soon to be compiled. The government is seeking to prevent large-scale blackouts during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, while also working to prevent leaks of sensitive information on power plant designs, the source said.

Under the program, around 100 employees of electric power and other firms would take lessons for up to a year from former hackers and other instructors at the industrial cybersecurity promotion center, which will be set up in Tokyo sometime after next April.

The government-affiliated Information-technology Promotion Agency will operate the training center, with an eye to conducting a joint exercise with cybersecurity engineers in the United States and other countries in the future, the source added.

It will be the nation’s first training center specializing in beefing up the skills of workers who deal with cyberattacks on electric power companies’ control systems.

The government decided to launch the training facility in response to a massive power outage that rocked Ukraine last December. That outage was attributed to hackers targeting the control systems of a power plant in the country.