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China’s military is thought to have instructed a hacker group to conduct cyberattacks on nearly 200 companies and research institutes in Japan, including its space agency, sources said Tuesday. Tokyo police referred a Chinese man to prosecutors over the attacks, they said.

The allegations come amid increasingly strained relations between Japan and its biggest trading partner. The issue of China dominated the agenda at PM Suga’s summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington last week.

Chinese military blamed for Japan cyberattacks | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Chinese military blamed for Japan cyberattacks | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

Taipei’s deputy representative to Japan hailed a joint statement issued after the summit — the first to mention Taiwan in 52 years — saying he hopes it marks the start of Japan playing a greater role in ensuring stability in the region.

Pressure has also been mounting on the Japanese government to take action to address alleged forced labor by China’s Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, after Tokyo failed to join allies in sanctioning Chinese officials for their role in the abuses.

Earlier this month, a group of Uyghurs in Japan urged 14 major Japanese firms to investigate whether their operations in China are connected to factories allegedly benefiting from forced labor in Xinjiang, and if so to suspend such transactions.

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