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Takaichi calls for integrated approach to cybersecurity and economic security

Minister in charge of Economic Security Takaichi Sanae has responded in writing to the Nikkei Shimbun’s questions regarding Japan’s fragile monitoring systems for social infrastructure. She made it clear that the government will “step up its efforts to establish an integrated approach that incudes both cybersecurity and economic security policies.”


She acknowledged that “cybersecurity measures for critical infrastructure provide a foundation for economic security policies.”


There are concerns that small-scale infrastructure facilities may be “loopholes” for cyberattacks. On this, Takaichi pointed out that cyberattacks targeting supply chains that cover both big-name corporations and smaller businesses have become more conspicuous and sophisticated in recent years.”   


In fiscal 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications found through a project that it had commissioned to ICT-ISAC Japan, a security organization, that 224 surveillance systems at critical facilities, which include water treatment and power plants, were prone to cyberattacks due to their vulnerable configurations, and issued a warning.


Takaichi noted that “about 80% of them have introduced measures such as limiting access, but the remaining 20% have taken no action” and called on the security organization to “conduct detailed follow-up.”


She proposed to the cabinet the establishment of a “cybersecurity agency” when she was the head of cybersecurity response headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party in 2019.


With regard to the reason for the proposal, she said that the government “should consider establishing an organization that is granted centralized power and full responsibility regarding cybersecurity measures and has sufficient resources.”

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