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Japanese Military May Guard Nuclear Sites From Cyber-Threats

Insiders say Japan is devising procedures for its armed forces to protect domestic atomic facilities from computer-based strikes, the Mainichi Daily News reports.

The Japanese government is still deciding if it will permit its Self Defense Forces to use malware in a potential retaliation against computers attacking a nuclear energy site or other sensitive location, the newspaper reported late last week. The island nation's atomic energy facilities have been largely in suspension since 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns in several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Protecting Japan's command-and-control systems from possible electronic assaults is the objective of a special task force established by the country's defense ministry in March, the Mainichi reported. The group of about 90 people only wields authorization to guard equipment linking the Japanese ministry to domestic military installations.

On Monday, Japan and Israel agreed to initiate a cyber-defense dialogue between their respective national security agencies, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in comments reported by Bloomberg.

Abe and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu issued a joint statement affirming "the necessity of cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and ... affirmed the importance of bilateral defense cooperation," the Times of Israel reported.

The position was in line with the stance of a Japanese military delegation that traveled to Israel, according to the released comments.

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NTI Analysis

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This article provides an overview of Japan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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