• Kyodo

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Tokyo police have obtained an arrest warrant for a Chinese former student in Japan on suspicion of attempting to illegally purchase Japanese security software on the orders of the Chinese military, investigative sources said Tuesday.

The 36-year-old man, identified as Wang Jianbin, has already left Japan, however, the sources said. The police plan to place him on Interpol’s international wanted list.

The man is suspected of using a fictitious Japanese company to try and buy the software in a transaction limited to Japanese companies only.

The incident occurred in November 2016 after he received instructions from the wife of a member of the People’s Liberation Army, and is linked to a cyberattack case allegedly involving the PLA.

However, his bid was rejected by the seller because the identity of the bogus Japanese entity was not confirmed.

The public security bureau of the Metropolitan Police Department believes the Chinese military tried to get the software so it could identify flaws in it in apparent preparation for another cyberattack.

In 2016 and 2017, about 200 companies and research institutes including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency were hit by large-scale cyberattacks that are believed to have been conducted by a Chinese espionage group under the direction of the PLA.

In April this year, the police referred to prosecutors a Chinese engineer on suspicion of signing a contract with a fake name to rent a server used for the attacks.

However, the Tokyo prosecutors decided not to indict the man, a member of the Communist Party of China in his 30s, in October, without citing a reason.

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