US and Japan Pledge Deepened Cyberspace CollaborationVow Comes Amid Intensifying Concern Over Chinese Ambitions
A pledge Wednesday from top U.S. and Japanese national security officials of increased military cooperation included a vow of deepened cooperation in cyberspace.
The announcement that the Marine Corps will deploy to Okinawa an upgraded unit that has the ability to fire anti-ship missiles and comes equipped with advanced intelligence capabilities comes amid intensifying concerns about Chinese ambitions for territory and influence in East Asia and beyond. "The United States is an Indo-Pacific power," the White House declared in a February 2022 strategy document that called for regional improvements in cybersecurity.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III appeared with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, and Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu during a press conference scheduled as part of an annual U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting in Washington. U.S President Joe Biden is set to meet Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House.
"We’re working to deepen our cooperation across every realm - land, sea, air, and yes, space, cyber and outer," said Blinken. Cybersecurity has "foundational importance" to the two countries' alliance, he said, adding that deepened cooperation will reflect itself in more swapping of best practices and mutual support.
The Kishida government in December released a national security strategy warning that cyberattacks will very likely be a component of a hybrid style of warfare that combines military and nonmilitary means to achieve national security objectives.
"Cyberattacks have been used constantly to disable or destroy critical infrastructures, interfere in foreign elections, demand ransoms, and steal sensitive information, even in the form of state-sponsored cyberattacks," the Japanese strategy states.
The strategy also says Japan will use "active cyber defense" that eliminates serious cyberattacks in advance. Japan in 2014 established a National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity- or NISC - to coordinate government response to cyberattacks and work with the private sector. The strategy calls for restructuring the NISC to make it a more centralized organization.