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Japan muscles up cyber defense against China, Russia

Japan has stepped up its cyber defenses to counter perceived threats from China, North Korea and Russia via a new cyber defense unit.

The unit combines previously separate cyber departments from Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Air Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) into a centralized set-up to conduct cyber countermeasures.

The new unit fills a longstanding gap in Japan’s capabilities by creating a joint cyber defense unit with limited offensive capabilities that will be responsible for protecting the Japan Self Defense-Forces’ (JSDF) networks. 

The 540-strong unit will be based in Tokyo and will initially be tasked with training staff, supporting practical training and managing information and communication networks.

The new unit reflects Japan’s view of outer space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum as warfighting domains critical to Japan’s overall military capability.