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Japan to set up a third-party monitoring body as part of cyber defense measures; New organization that will have a high level of freedom


The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will make remarks during an expert panel on Friday about the introduction of an active cyber defense system at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The government has begun setting up an independent third party to monitor government use of information obtained through telecommunications networks, while at the same time introducing an active cyber defense system.

The government plans to shape the new organization through discussions with a panel of experts in the field of active cyber defense and the ruling parties.

Under the envisioned system, the government will monitor certain information in telecommunications networks during peacetime to detect signs of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in Japan, such as power plants. If suspicious activity is detected, the government will penetrate the computer servers or other systems of potential attackers to disable their cyberattack capabilities.

The introduction of the system is laid down in the National Security Strategy, which was revised in December 2022.

Russia carried out cyber attacks on computer systems at electricity substations and other facilities before beginning its aggression against Ukraine. Given such circumstances, the United States and other countries have pointed out that Japan is lagging behind in developing countermeasures against cyber attacks.

The United States, the United Kingdom and other countries that use telecommunications networks to combat cyber attacks have independent organizations to monitor the process.

One idea within the government and ruling parties is to give the new organization a high degree of discretion, similar to the Personal Information Protection Commission, which was established as a satellite organization of the Cabinet Office.

The new organization will monitor whether the government is carrying out its work properly.

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