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While it seems that Sino-Japan relations are on an upward trajectory,1 the degree of concern about China’s behaviour has not necessarily declined throughout East Asia. Today the Yomiuri Shimbun has reported (jp) that Japan will host a meeting with ASEAN with a view to strengthening cyberwarfare countermeasures cooperation – and the article suggests there will be an explicit focus on China. The meeting will be attended by the bureau directors of the various intelligence, communications and information crisis management agencies, as well as officials at the assistant vice-minister level.

Importantly, Japan is looking to share its technological know-how in regards to cyberwarfare countermeasures. Specifically, according to the article, it will share its knowledge in the areas of nuclear power generation, financial services, transportation systems countermeasures to ensure that social disruption can be kept to a minimum in the face of cyber attacks.

Japan is certainly not missing the opportunity to invigorate its relations with the ASEAN group in light of rising China concerns. Japan’s developing relationship with Vietnam has been a feature of the last year in particular with cooperation over nuclear energy infrastructure, high-speed train infrastructure, and strengthened military dialogue all being pursued. Furthermore, Vietnam’s “open port policy” where Cam Ranh Bay has been opened after 8 years of closure demonstrates Vietnamese deep concern in particular despite relations having improved between China and Vietnam since the end of the Cold War.

The aforementioned summit will take place on the 7/8th of this month.

1 While Japan is looking at cutting aid to China this is not a knee-jerk reaction to anything in particular – Japanese aid to China has been steadily decreasing overtime without giving rise to significant conflict. As this article mentions it makes some sense in the context of Japan evolving ODA policy.

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Corey Wallace joined Japan Security Watch in 2011. He writes on Japan security-related topics, focusing on issues and stories that may not find their way into the English language media. He also hosts the blog Sigma1 where he writes on Japanese domestic politics and broader issues in international relations. Prior to taking up a PhD Corey was a participant on the JET program (2004-2007) and on returning to New Zealand he worked at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology from 2007-2010 as a policy adviser. Corey lectures two courses at the University of Auckland. One is on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, which contains a significant focus on East Asia security issues. The other is a course on China's international relations. His primary academic interests before his current Japan focus were science and technology politics/policy, issues of ethnic identity, and Chinese modern history and politics. He carries over his interest in issues of identity and history into his PhD where he is looking at generationally situated concepts of national identity and their impact on foreign policy ideas in Japan.
Corey Wallace has 256 post(s) on Japan Security Watch