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The government will enable active cyber defense to neutralize cyber attacks; Strives to meet the international standard for cyber defense

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Akira Amari, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Economic Security Promotion Headquarters, speaks at a joint meeting with the party’s Security Investigation Committee and other organizations in Tokyo on Friday.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party began discussions on Friday about allowing the government to conduct “active cyber defense.”

The LDP hopes to increase Japan’s cyber defense capabilities to a level comparable to those of North American and European countries by authorizing the government to access an attacker’s server to neutralize their attack and other actions.

The government will meet a panel of experts for the first time in early June and plans to introduce a related bill at the extraordinary session of the Diet this fall.

Akira Amari, the party chairman of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Economic Security, said on Friday: “We will firmly establish a system that meets international standards to protect our citizens. We hope that our efforts will lead to the foundation of that system.”

His comments came at a joint meeting of the headquarters he chairs, the party’s Security Investigation Committee and other organizations held at the party headquarters.

The Japanese government’s and LDP’s heightened alert on cybercrime comes after Russia carried out large-scale cyberattacks as it launched its armed aggression against Ukraine and Chinese hackers were suspected of carrying out malware attacks on critical infrastructure in other countries.

In major Western countries, the public and private sectors are working together to tackle cyber attacks, with operators of key infrastructure now required to report cyber attacks to the government.

In cases where it deems the provision of security necessary, the government will examine communications data and take steps to prevent cybercriminals from launching an attack.

During the meeting, the government presented the following policies: (1) encouraging cooperation between the public and private sectors, including through information sharing; (2) using communications data to detect the source of an attack; and (3) authorizing the government to access an attacker’s server to neutralize an attack.

The administration also proposed reorganizing the National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) into a new command post that would collect and analyze data and adapt countermeasures.

Diet members attending the meeting called for expanding the operational structure and budget and establishing a system that ensures international cooperation.

Adopting active cyber defense raises issues such as its compatibility with the “secrecy of all means of communication” guaranteed by the Constitution.

After the meeting, Itsunori Onodera, chairman of the party’s Security Research Committee, told reporters: “I want to deepen the discussion on how to balance this issue with public welfare.”

The government is considering a revision of the Basic Law on Cybersecurity and the Law on the Prohibition of Unauthorized Computer Access and will begin full-fledged discussions during the meeting with the panel of experts.

“We will speed up our work so that we can submit a bill as soon as possible,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a news conference on Friday.



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