The most important infrastructure of our daily lives is invisible: the Global Positioning System. GPS is a network of satellites that provides precise locations, which is integrated into all sorts of electronic devices, from self-driving cars and navigation systems to mobile phones. An accurate and reliable GPS system is also a national security concern, as GPS is a central component of modern weapons systems, air traffic controls, and even parts of the economy like agriculture. Not surprisingly, then, there are mounting questions about the security of GPS systems, and Japan, like all other major economies, must take them seriously.

Those concerns crystalized in recent days after reports that Russia had interfered with GPS systems in Northern Europe during NATO war games held during the last two weeks. Officials observed disruptions to GPS signals during the closing days of Trident Juncture, the largest NATO exercise in decades. The participation of military forces from 31 countries — all 29 NATO members, along with Finland and Sweden — prompted Russian complaints of hostile behavior.

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