Japan and Vietnam are working together to ensure they are prepared to counter the growing number of cyberattacks; many of these attacks appear to originate from China.


Japan and Vietnam are rapidly stepping up their military ties amid growing concerns over China’s increasing assertiveness in the region. Now, the two countries have signed a cybersecurity agreement. Key points: 

Defence ministers from both countries met in November to sign the agreement. 

Japan’s Defence Minister Kishi Nobuo told reporters the cyberspace agreement aimed to address a ‘strong sense of urgency’ over activities in the Indo-Pacific region that challenged the existing international order (indicating China without identifying it by name).

The Japanese Defence Ministry says cyberattacks are just part of rising security threats from China as it becomes more assertive in the region.

Kishi said talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, Phan Van Giang, had taken ‘defence cooperation between the two countries to a new level’.

Kishi also raised concerns over the recent escalation of joint military activities by China and Russia near Japanese waters and airspace.

In recent years, Japan has stepped up cyber defence cooperation with the US, Australia, and other partners; and participated in a NATO cyberspace exercise in April. 

Japan is also looking to expand military cooperation beyond its long-time ally, the US, and has signed similar agreements with Britain, Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The agreement comes just months after Japan and Vietnam agreed for  Japan to provide Vietnam with defence-related equipment and technology. However, details of the transfer of specific equipment, which might include naval vessels, is still being discussed. 


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