United States and Japanese defense officials promised to increase cyber cooperation, officials said in a joint statement on May 29
The announcement of cyber cooperation came when Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani met on the sidelines the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual forum on Asian security held at Singapore.
The “Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Cyber Defense Policy Working Group” came as a follow-on to the recently updated Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation from April.
The guidelines document briefly previewed the cyber cooperation measures expanded on in the joint statement.
Noting the rapid innovation of cyberspace and its growing role in ensuring national security, “The MoD [Japanese Ministry of Defense] and DoD [U.S. Department of Defense] shared the view that, in the event of a serious cyber incident that threatens the security of either of our nations, including if such a cyber incident occurs as part of an armed attack against Japan, the MoD and DoD will consult closely and take appropriate cooperative actions,” the statement said.
“In particular, the DoD will consult with the MoD and support Japan via all available channels, as appropriate,” it added.
The MoD and DoD have previously cooperated on information assurance, defensive cyberspace operations, and information security. They both also “intend to explore options for enhanced operational cooperation between cyber units.”
The U.S. and Japan plan to improve and refine existing cyber information sharing channels as well. This includes “best practices on military training and exercises, education and workforce development.” The level of sharing may rise to site visits and joint training.
The joint statement noted the MoD and DoD will explore how to improve cyber information sharing through various channels in a crisis situation, “and work towards timely, routine, two-way information sharing and the development of common cyber threat indicators and warning.”