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EU to host cybersecurity training with Japan, US for 1st time

European Union flag.(Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The European Union will join Japan and the United States for the first time in hosting a cybersecurity training session for the Indo-Pacific region next March, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

    The training, which has been held since 2018 by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, aims to enhance cybersecurity capabilities and foster core human resources to protect critical infrastructure in the region.

    Due to the intertwined nature of supply chains and power grids in the region, cybersecurity measures need to be developed as whole in order to be effective, according to the sources.

    The third such training session will be held online due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with experts from the European Union lecturing for the first time.

    With Japan's vision of a "free and open Indo-Pacific" gaining momentum even in Europe, currently on high alert for cyberthreats originating in China, there is likely to be an increase in joint projects between the European Union, Japan and the United States in the future.

    In addition to the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, India and Taiwan will also be among the participants of the five-day session, which will provide cybersecurity training to government officials and key personnel from critical infrastructure sectors including electricity and oil.

    The risk of large-scale cyberattacks is already a reality and there is a sense of urgency regarding the strengthening of defense mechanisms for critical infrastructure.

    In 2015, a cyberattack in western Ukraine caused an extensive power blackout in what was considered the first successful cyberattack on a power grid.

    More recently, the British government said last month that Russian military intelligence had carried out cyberattacks targeting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, originally scheduled to be held this summer, with the aim of disrupting the events.

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