The government on Monday ordered messaging app provider Line Corp. to take measures to properly protect customer information after it was found such data could be accessed by a Chinese affiliate without user consent.

The administrative guidance, which also requires a report from Line by late May, was issued because the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry judged that the app operator had failed to provide a sufficient monitoring system to protect the "secrets of communications" as required by law.

The move came after Line, used by over 86 million people in Japan, said last month that users' personal information had been accessible to technicians of its Chinese affiliate.