Japan’s newly adopted National Defense Program Guidelines envisage improving cyber-defence capabilities, Japan Times reports. According to the guidelines, capabilities include possessing the ability to obstruct the enemy’s use of cyberspace when the nation is under attack; however, such capabilities – which may be used for conducting offensive counter-attacks – may be challenging in light of the Japanese Constitution, which restricts use of force for self-defence to certain conditions. The guidelines also envisage government investments in artificial intelligence applications for defence purposes. The guidelines are set in response to China’s expanding military activities, including its supremacy in the cyber domain, which may endanger Japan’s command and control systems.
Cyber-attacks can have a background in international relations, or bring about the consequences that can escalate to a political and diplomatic level. An increasing number of states appear to be developing their own cyber-tools for the defense, offence and intelligence related to cyberconflict.
The use of cyber-weapons by states - and, more generally, the behavior of states in cyberspace in relation to maintaining international peace and security - is moving to the top of the international agenda.