Japan Panel Calls for Unified Cybercrime Reporting Service

REUTERS file photo
A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese authorities should unify their cybercrime reporting services as many cases are believed to be left unreported, an expert panel proposed Thursday.

The National Police Agency’s panel released a report proposing a unified portal site to report such crimes, as police organizations, the Personal Information Protection Commission and government agencies have separate reporting services with different formats and information that need to be submitted.

The proposal called on the NPA to “strongly take the initiative to create a unified contact point that cuts across ministerial boundaries.”

“It should start by unifying as much as possible the content and format of reports,” it said.

The agency will call on related government organizations to cooperate and make preparations to unify their reporting schemes.

The proposal said that cybercrime reporting and consultation methods are not standardized even within the country’s police. Only 19 of the 47 prefectural police departments have cybercrime consultation services on their websites, and they receive few cases.

The NPA plans to establish a unified online reporting window for all prefectural police departments. The service is expected to begin by the end of next March.

An NPA survey conducted last year of companies and administrative agencies that suffered cybercrimes showed that 43.9% did not report cases they experienced.

The most common reason for not reporting was that there was no actual damage. Many also responded that they were able to handle cases by themselves, that there is no obligation to report cases and that they did not know where they should file reports.

Victims do not always desire criminal punishments for cybercrime perpetrators, and many hesitate to file reports out of fear that it would damage their social reputation.

The proposal called for making it easier for victims to voluntarily report and consult about cases by improving the content on prefectural police websites and the way police staff respond to reports.