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SECURITY > Cybersecurity

Right to self-defense can be exercised for cyberattacks, says PM Abe at Lower House

  • May 17, 2019
  • , Mainichi , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

By Kenta Miyahara


At the Lower House plenary session on May 16, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there are cases where cyberattacks against Japan would constitute armed attacks and “the use of armed force for self-defense is permitted under the Constitution.”


The Prime Minister said the question of whether cyberattacks constitute armed attacks “should be determined on a case-by-case basis in light of international circumstances, the expressed intent of the counterpart, the means of the attack, and the handling of it.” In addition, he said cases where attacks are deemed to constitute armed attacks would be “cases where very grave damage equivalent to that of an attack by a physical means is sustained and the cyberattack is launched systematically and intentionally by the counterpart.” He confirmed that the use of armed force for self-defense is permitted. Moreover, he expressed concern about rising tensions in the Middle East, including the invocation of economic sanctions by the United States against Iran.

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