Japan compiles countermeasures against cyberattacks

A government panel on Tuesday compiled a final draft of countermeasures against cyberattacks, featuring boosting the Self-Defense Forces' capability to tackle particularly state-level attacks that may involve foreign governments.

The proposals, aimed at protecting the state, businesses and the general public, will be finalized next month after seeking public opinions.

"We need to quickly respond not only to enhance national security and crisis management but to ensure stability in people's lives and economic development," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the panel's meeting. "We aim to create a secure cyberspace suitable for a globally top-level IT state."

The draft presented measures the government should take through fiscal 2015, including setting up a "cyber guard" within the SDF with expert personnel and advanced equipment.

The National Information Security Center, the control tower for information protection, will be reorganized as a Cyber Security Center around the fiscal year ending March 2016 with more powers and expertise.

The government will also seek further cooperation with other countries in the event of being attacked by hackers or malware, while fostering the domestic information security industry.

As a result, it is expected that the market scale of the industry, currently around 700 billion yen ($6.8 billion), will double by 2020.

Meanwhile, business operators will be allowed to analyze communication records to address increasingly complex and sophisticated cyberattacks, while securing the constitutionally guaranteed secrecy of communications, the draft said.