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極めて重要なめものメモ FT: Cyber threats can unite Japan and America より2010/08/30 23:20


Cyber threats can unite Japan and America
By John Alkire
Published: August 29 2010 23:21 | Last updated: August 29 2010 23:21

Striking developments in the relationship between America and Japan suggest that a new type of strategic alliance is brewing. In particular, a series of seemingly unrelated events point to important shifts that could have significant implications for both countries as they contemplate an era of sophisticated electronic warfare.

Fifty years after Japan and the US signed their treaty of mutual co-operation, Barney Frank, US congressman, in July described the stationing of US forces in Okinawa as a hangover from the second world war. Shortly after, John Roos, US ambassador to Japan, became the first American envoy to join the annual commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Then, Naoto Kan became the first Japanese prime minister in 25 years to instruct his cabinet to stay away from the annual event honouring Japan’s war dead, at the Yasukuni shrine.

Not only does all this suggest the strengthening of an old alliance, it also points to new possibilities for co-operation. Under their security treaty, the US and Japan agreed to help each other in the event of an attack on either side, although Japan’s pacifist constitution forbids it from having an active military. Yet military hardware, so essential for security 50 years ago, is no longer the only form of security threat that matters. Cyber security now requires equal attention.

Cyber attacks on national infrastructure and financial systems have become an ever-present danger, as the Pentagon admitted last week when it acknowledged that a 2008 cyber attack in the Middle East had compromised secret US military computers. Such issues can provide new common ground between the US and Japan.

For one thing, both share a common threat. Since 1998 China has spent billions on its “golden shield” firewall. After Google accused Beijing of official interference with its services, Julius Genachowski, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, and Kazuhiro Haraguchi, Japan’s minister of communications, met in May to discuss cybersecurity issues. The talks came as the US government began publicly warning China about its cyber-espionage activities. The US allegations included charges that a Chinese computer spying network, called “GhostNet”, had stolen sensitive information from thousands of hard drives, although China denied involvement.

Both Japan, with its many key high-tech industries, and the US, with enterprises clamouring for Chinese market opportunities, are clearly concerned about cyber threats. In their May meeting, officials from both nations agreed to work jointly to stop cyber-based attacks on their respective businesses and governments, and to lead discussions on this topic at an international meeting of Asia-Pacific telecommunications ministers this October on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa.

Such new types of co-operation would amount to a high-tech version of the traditional military security treaty that the two countries put in place 50 years ago. They highlight a recognition of radical changes in the nature of security threats, and signal a move towards more appropriate, modern shields.

Given America’s challenges of maintaining military spending amid fiscal budgetary constraints and Japan’s constitutional restrictions on military activity, still-greater cyber co-operation – though not a substitute for traditional military security – offers a vital opportunity for both nations to renew their security alliance. It is an alliance from which both parties stand to benefit.

Three-quarters of US military hardware in Japan is located on Okinawa, a fact that has caused tensions in the bilateral relationship and fuelled calls for the complete removal of the bases. Both countries agree it is critical to resolve these issues, although opposition to plans to relocate the bases within the area, focused on the Futenma marine corps base on Okinawa, helped to bring down the Hatoyama government this year.

One way to resolve such thorny issues while addressing broader security concerns would be to change the focus of co-operation still further towards cyber-threats. A new virtuous bilateral partnership, including the sharing of costs for such co-operation in Okinawa, could provide an elegant solution to the issue of outdated military bases, while fostering productive ties between the two countries.

Converting some existing installations in Okinawa into US-Japan cybersecurity centres would create vital technological buffers, while increasing economic and public safety from faceless cyberterrorists, electronic spies and online criminals. After all, as Barney Frank noted: “No one thinks you’re going to land 15,000 marines on the Chinese mainland to confront millions of Chinese military.” What could result is a truly contemporary security partnership, fit for the next 50 years.

The writer is managing director of Morgan Stanley Japan


_ ロッキーホラーショー ― 2010/08/31 17:05


_ Y-SONODA ― 2010/09/02 08:51






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