Japan and the United States are expected to ink an agreement detailing both nations’ cooperation in fighting cyberattacks on government entities in both countries, a Japanese government source revealed on Monday. The source said that Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will flesh out and sign the agreement during a meeting of bilateral defense chiefs scheduled for early October in Tokyo.
This joint document will point out steps to enhance capabilities of both countries, especially Japan, in tackling cyberattacks. The agreement will also include the dispatch of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to the United States for training, joint drills and regular working-level dialogue, the source added. Both nations are also considering adding cyberattack policies being added to the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines. Onodera and Hagel will be holding these talks on the sidelines of the so-called two-plus-two meeting on Oct. 3 in Tokyo, involving the two defense chiefs as well as Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The advent of a highly connected digital and virtual environment has seen the rise of cyberattacks and the vulnerability of government infrastructure and networks to such attacks. Specifically, there have been concerns that cyberattacks on Japan could negatively affect the U.S. missile defense system and the operation of Aegis destroyers, which both countries have and operate. To bolster its capabilities in dealing with and countering cyberattacks, the Japanese Defense Ministry has requested 70 million yen (over US$700,000) in its fiscal 2014 budget to add and train personnel.