Japan to Set Up 3rd-Party Monitoring Body as Part of Cyber Defense Measures; New Organization to be Given High-Level of Freedom

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

The government has started working to establish an independent third-party organization to monitor the government’s use of information obtained through telecommunication networks while introducing an active cyber defense system at the same time.

The government intends to formulate the details of the new organization through discussions with an expert panel on active cyber defense and the ruling parties.

In the envisaged system, the government will monitor certain information in telecommunication networks during peacetime to detect signs of cyberattacks against critical infrastructure in Japan, such as power stations. If suspicious activity is detected, the government will enter the computer servers or other systems of possible attackers to disable their cyberattack capabilities.

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

Russia carried out cyberattacks on computer systems of power substations and other facilities before it began its aggression against Ukraine. Given such circumstances, the United States and other countries have pointed out that Japan is lagging in the development of countermeasures against cyberattacks.

The United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, which utilize telecommunication networks to combat cyberattacks, have independent organizations to monitor the process.

One idea within the government and ruling parties is allowing the new organization to have a high degree of freedom, similar to the Personal Information Protection Commission, which has been established as a satellite organization of the Cabinet Office.

The new organization will monitor whether the government is conducting its activities appropriately.