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Japan crafts new cybersecurity strategy for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, second from left, speaks during a cybersecurity strategy task force meeting at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on July 25, 2018. (Kyodo)

The Japanese government crafted Wednesday a new cybersecurity strategy as it steps up preparations for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

During a meeting at the prime minister's office, it also decided to introduce a five-stage index to classify the severity of cyberattacks to help people understand the magnitude of threats and take necessary action.

The five stages are based on how long it takes to recover and the scale of the area affected as well as whether human damage is caused or people forced to evacuate. The lowest level of 0 indicates "no impact" while the highest level of 4 implies an "extremely grave impact."

In the draft strategy, the Cyber Security Strategy Headquarters, led by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, incorporated a plan to establish a new body aimed at securing effective coordination among government agencies, the Olympic organizing committee, municipalities and business operators in responding to cyberattacks.

"The likelihood of cyberattacks resulting in major economic losses is growing," Suga said at the meeting, urging more efforts to be made to improve defenses.

The strategy, pending approval from the Cabinet, will be used as a cybersecurity guideline for the next three years. Among other points it also states the need to hold training and drills on the assumption of cyberattacks causing massive power outages and disrupting financial services.

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