As neighboring China, Russia and North Korea develop increasingly sophisticated cyberattack capabilities, Japan is shifting toward a more robust posture in cyberspace, with Tokyo recently announcing plans to “fundamentally strengthen” the Self-Defense Forces’ capabilities.

Still, there are concerns about how a defensive cyber policy — limited by constitutional constraints — can deter serious attacks, particularly given that the country’s private sector, especially small and midsize companies, has been slow to upgrade its cyberdefenses.

In its budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, the Defense Ministry is requesting more than ¥75 billion ($527 million) — over twice the amount allocated for the current fiscal year (¥34.2 billion) — to bolster the SDF's cyberdefense.