Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Japan, U.S. To Incorporate Cyber-Defense In Cooperation Guidelines

Japan News
October 1, 2013
Pg. 1


By The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Japanese and U.S. governments will incorporate a policy on how to respond to cyber-attacks in the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines, a move aimed at countering China, according to Japanese government sources.
China is said to be actively studying the use of cyber-attacks.
Under the new policy, the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military would jointly respond if Japan's defense computer system came under a cyber-attack.
The Japanese and U.S. governments plan to agree on the re-revision of the guidelines at a meeting of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee, also known as a two-plus-two meeting of foreign and defense ministers, scheduled to be held in Tokyo on Thursday. The bureau chief-level Subcommittee for Defense Cooperation is expected to have concrete discussions on the matter for more than a year.
The current guidelines define cooperation between the two countries in three situations--peacetime, when Japan comes under armed attack and when there is an emergency around Japan that could seriously affect the country's peace and security. The guidelines do not refer to cyber-attacks.
However, there have recently been an increasing number of cyber-attacks against the Japanese and U.S. governments, and there is a high risk that the communication and command systems of the SDF and the U.S. military stationed in Japan may come under such attacks.
Therefore, according to the sources, the Japanese and U.S. governments judged it is necessary to define bilateral cooperation in dealing with cyber-attacks in the guidelines.
Specifically, the two countries will discuss how to communicate and cooperate during peacetime and how to respond to an enemy state's possible cyber-attack against their missile defense or radar systems prior to attacks using ordinary weapons such as missiles and airplanes, the sources said.
Cyberspace is the fifth field of military operations along with ground, sea, air and space. Developing a defense system to cope with cyber-attacks is an urgent task for Japan.
However, the Japanese government sets strict requirements for initiating the right to self-defense under the current interpretation of the Constitution. Therefore, legal limits are unclear as to how vigorous a counterattack Japan could undertake as part of its right to self-defense if the country comes under a cyber-attack that does not involve weapons.
A panel concerning the re-definition of a legal basis for security, which is an advisory body to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is currently discussing legal issues related to countering cyber-attacks. The Japanese government will discuss with the U.S. government the re-revision of the guidelines based on outcomes of the panel's discussions.

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