Australia-Japan to bolster Cyber Policy efforts

Australia and Japan are seeking closer collaboration on cyber security dialogue and looking to build agreements on logistics, intelligence and technology-sharing.

Following the Sony hacking incident, cyber security has risen in prominence. Japan has also ­experienced past attacks on government and corporate IT systems amid spats with neighbours China and North Korea.

Meanwhile, new reports from Japan suggest Tokyo is pushing a compromise on the Soryu submarine proposal that would boost the amount of work done in Australia to try to create an outcome that could win bipartisan support here, according to The Australian.

The inaugural meeting of the Australia-Japan Cyber Policy Dialogue took place in Canberra on Friday 13 February.  Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on the Dialogue during their summit meeting in Tokyo on 7 April 2014.  The Dialogue reflects the two countries’ broad and longstanding cooperation on bilateral and global issues.

Australia and Japan have deepened their understanding of each other’s policies and exchanged views on key issues on the international cyber agenda including the development of international norms and the application of international law to state behaviour in cyberspace.  The two countries reaffirmed their cooperation on the development of cyber confidence building measures in the ASEAN Regional Forum as well as on cybersecurity in other regional and international fora.

The two countries also discussed possible bilateral cooperation in areas such as combating cybercrime, critical information infrastructure protection, cybersecurity for major events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and enhancing capacity on cybersecurity among countries of the Asia-Pacific region.  Australia and Japan committed to continue the Dialogue to address common cyber threats and cooperation in regional and international fora.

Former foreign minister and NSW premier Bob Carr, the institute’s director, said talk of “quasi” alliances or treaties between Australia and Japan was premature.

“Australia is entitled to discuss cyber security with its partners. It’s an absolutely valid concern. We are entitled to buy defence equipment from whoever offers the best deal, subject to a tender,’’ he said.

“But the Australian people are entitled to a full accounting before we talk about a de facto treaty with Japan — valid friend and partner though Japan is.

“Any implication we have a quasi treaty with Japan could be taken to get Australia involved in a conflict between Japan and China, which the majority of Australians clearly opposed based on the Australia-China Relations Institute survey released last week.”

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

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