The National Police Agency (NPA) announced yesterday that Japan is set to launch a 140-strong nationwide police task force sometime next week that would focus on fighting cyber crime, including attacks that come from overseas. In a statement, the NPA said that the so-called cyber police will be deployed in Osaka, Tokyo, as well as other strategic areas. The members will be composed of specialists that have been recruited from private firms and are fluent in the English, Chinese, Korean and Russian languages.
The primary goal is to go a level higher in protecting government organizations, defense contractors and private organizations that operate infrastructure in the country—these include the power plants and gas storage facilities. The main role of the foreign language experts is to “gather information on cyber attacks from abroad”. Until now, cyber attacks have only been dealt with provincially, also with the help of specialists. However, attacks are not confined locally when cyber space is involved and it becomes difficult for local police to handle those.
Last September, after the government nationalized a portion of the Senkaku Islands, which China calls the Diaoyus and is claiming it as part of their territory, it was subjected to a cross-border attack. Some 19 government websites were compromised, and the attacks were believed to have come from China. The new task force will seek to minimize, if not eradicate, these occurrences.