Japan, U.S. hold 1st comprehensive dialogue on cybersecurity

Japan and the United States started their first comprehensive dialogue on issues relating to cyberspace on Thursday, aiming to agree that cyberattacks pose threats to national security and to discuss countermeasures and international rule-making.

The two-day meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo comes just days after the U.S. Defense Department, in a report to Congress, blamed the Chinese military for mounting cyberattacks on computer systems owned by the U.S. government.

The meeting will conclude with a joint statement. The two countries are expected to confirm their commitment to guarding against cyberthreats and holding similar meetings on a regular basis.

"Enabling cyberspace to be used in a safe and stable manner is deeply related to both security and the economy, and it is a new and urgent challenge faced by international society, including Japan and the United States," said Osamu Imai, Japanese ambassador in charge of cyberpolicy, at the start of the meeting.

"In this first dialogue, we hope to have a practical discussion to form the foundation for strengthening bilateral cooperation in such areas as the recognition of cyberthreats and how to cope with cyber issues," he added.

Christopher Painter, coordinator for cyber issues at the U.S. State Department, said that in the face of such threats as hacking and intrusions, it is important for the two security allies to form a partnership in this area.

Participants in the meeting included officials from the Defense Ministry and the National Information Security Center on the Japanese side, and the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security on the U.S. side.