Japan-U.S. Security Treaty to Cover Cyberattacks


Washington, April 19 (Jiji Press)--Foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States confirmed on Friday that Article 5 of the two countries' security treaty, which sets out Washington's obligations to defend territories under Japanese jurisdiction, could apply to cyberattacks against Japan.

This was clarified for the first time, in a joint statement adopted at so-called two-plus-two security talks held among the ministers in Washington on the day.

The ministers affirmed that "a cyberattack could, in certain circumstances, constitute an armed attack for the purpose of Article 5" of the security treaty, the statement said, adding that a decision as to whether a cyberattack would be covered by the article will be made "on a case-by-case basis, and through close consultations" between the two countries.

While refraining from citing specific countries, the statement implicitly expressed concerns over rapid technological progress made by China and Russia in the new fields. "Malicious cyber activity presents an increasing threat to the security and prosperity of both the United States and Japan," it said.

Japan-U.S. collaboration in cross-domain operations involving the conventional air, ground and maritime defense fields, and the new domains is one of "core objectives" to advance the two nations' defense relationship, the statement added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press