Japan has defined Russia, China and North Korea as possible threats in its newly-adopted draft for the next cybersecurity strategy and plans to enhance ties with the US, India and ASEAN to counter them, the national media reported.
The draft was adopted at a meeting of the Cybersecurity Strategy Headquarters on Wednesday and is set to receive the cabinet’s approval as early as this fall, the Kyodo news agency reported. This marked the first time that Japan mentioned a specific country as a threat in its cybersecurity strategy.
“There are signs that China is conducting cyberattacks to steal information from military-related enterprises and high-tech companies, Russia [is conducting cyberattacks] to achieve military and political goals,” the document said, as cited by the news agency.
The NHK broadcaster, in turn, cited another part of the strategy, saying that the cyber-capabilities of Russia, China and North Korea were “growing and strengthening.”
“It is necessary to increase the priority of cybersecurity in terms of ensuring foreign policy and security. It is necessary to actively promote cooperation with the US, Australia, India, as well as the ASEAN countries,” NHK cited the strategy as saying.
The West has repeatedly accused Russia and China of carrying out cyberattacks against them — allegations denied by both Moscow and Beijing. The Russian authorities have offered the West to launch a cybersecurity dialogue but have so far received no positive response. China has also expressed readiness to cooperate on the matter.
Earlier, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had stated that the United States and Japan should cease promoting the so-called Chinese threat theory and instead work toward peace and stability in the region.
Earlier in the month, the Financial Times had reported that Japan and the US were conducting military drills in the South China and East China seas amid the growing possibility of a military clash with China over Taiwan.
According to the newspaper, the US and Japanese armed forces started planning for a possible confrontation during the last year of the Donald Trump administration.
“We noted relevant reports. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Chinese government and people’s firm resolve and will to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity will not waver in the face of any external pressure. We hope relevant sides will stop hyping up the ‘China threat’ theory and instead do more things in the interest of regional peace and stability,” Wang said at a press briefing.
On June 24, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced the beginning of the annual exercise Orient Shield 21 between Washington and Tokyo, with several thousand troops conducting tactical training and bilateral planning at military facilities across Japan.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own democratically elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country and has political and economic relations with several other nations that recognize its sovereignty.
Beijing vociferously denies its independence as it sees itself as the only legitimate political representative of the Chinese people anywhere.
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