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The Internet facilitates rapid data-sharing and increased communication between individuals, firms and government entities. This generates significant risks but, for most of the 2000s, Japan did not take commensurate countermeasures. The complacent attitude toward information technology security has persisted in Japan too long due to a combination of ignorance, wishful thinking and the belief that cybersecurity is only a cost, rather than a prudent investment.

It doesn’t get any more embarrassing than the discovery that the Wi-Fi network at the lodging for reporters covering the G-7 Ise-Shima summit was tampered with and can infect users’ computers with a virus that has been traced back to Russia. Government officials maintain, however, that strict cyber-terrorism measures have been implemented at the summit venues to prevent any such problems. Well, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

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