14 August 2017

News Story: Japan, US to boost steps against cyberattacks in security talks

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan and the United States are expected to agree in bilateral security talks next week to boost defenses against cyberattacks, a diplomatic source said Saturday, apparently with North Korea and China in mind.

Expanded cooperation is expected to be stipulated in a joint statement to be issued after a so-called "two-plus-two" security meeting of their foreign and defense chiefs in Washington on Thursday, the source said.

As cyberattacks pose a serious threat to national security, Japan and the United States aim to bolster measures to prevent any leak of classified information, including regarding state-of-the-art weapons, and to protect essential communication and transport infrastructure, the source said.

Bolstering cybersecurity as well as ballistic missile defense in light of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs will be priority issues, the source said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have surged since North Korea twice tested intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. That led to the United States and North Korea trading threats to take military action, including Pyongyang threatening to fire four ballistic missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and U.S. President Donald Trump vowing that the North Korean leader "will truly regret it" if that happened.

The Japanese and U.S. governments will agree during the two-plus-two meeting, the first since Trump took office in January, on the need to tackle cyberattacks in a comprehensive manner.

Read the full story at The Mainichi