With eye on China, Japan to boost cyberdefense capabilities

Kyodo

The Defense Ministry plans to strengthen measures against cyberattacks by setting up its first regional cyberdefense unit, amid China’s efforts to bolster its own cyber capabilities, a governmental official said Thursday.

The new unit will be set up within the Ground Self-Defense Force Western Army and will start operations by the end of next March with some 40 members.

The ministry established a unit in 2014 to respond to cyberattacks and monitor networks at its ministry and Self-Defense Forces buildings in Tokyo. But the ministry believes it is difficult for the current unit alone to deal with all such attacks across the country.

The duties of the new unit will include responding to potential cyberattacks against wireless communication networks on islands in southwestern Japan at a time when Chinese coast guard vessels are often spotted around the Japanese-controlled, Chinese-claimed Senkaku Islands in the area.

The ministry will consider deploying similar units in other regions.