Japanese Cabinet approves bill to promote economic security


Japan’s cabinet on Friday approved a bill aimed at promoting economic security by strengthening supply chains for vital products such as semiconductors and better addressing geopolitical risks associated with China and Russia.

As global high-tech competition intensifies and concerns over cyberattacks grow, the government aims to enact the bill during the current parliamentary session until mid-June.

The bill stipulates that the government will protect key infrastructure against cyberattacks, develop advanced technologies through public-private cooperation and make certain patents related to sensitive technologies non-public.

Binary code symbols are seen on a laptop screen in this photo illustration. (NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)

To build stronger supply chains, the government will designate goods such as chips, pharmaceuticals and rare minerals as critical items for which the government will closely monitor and financially support suppliers’ sourcing plans.

In the area of ​​infrastructure, including telecommunications and transport, the government will control the equipment that operators plan to install to mitigate vulnerability to cyber attacks and prevent the use of parts from abroad that could pose threats to Security.

To support the development of dual-use technologies for commercial and military applications, the government will set up a committee comprising government officials, representatives of private companies and researchers from universities.

A fund worth 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) is earmarked for this purpose, while a state-run think tank will provide support by conducting research on the latest technological developments at the stranger. Private sector members will have confidentiality obligations.

The bill also introduces rules on the non-publication of certain inventions applicable in the nuclear and defense fields.

It provides for a penalty of up to two years in prison for people reporting false information in the review of infrastructure projects or disclosing non-public patent data.

Discussions on whether to grant private citizens security clearance status allowing access to sensitive information have been postponed due to concerns raised about their personal history being scrutinized.


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