The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research



Cyber Crises Highlight Japan’s Tech Vulnerabilities

The Port of Nagoya was paralyzed for two days in early July by a ransomware attack, and on July 19, a probe began into the Digital Agency after a series of errors involving the 12-digit My Number identification system. Although the two crises are inherently different, they put the spotlight on Japan’s tech vulnerabilities and the struggles of a traditionally analogue society as it goes digital.

“The execution (of rolling out My Number) is obviously quite tricky as it involves digitising analogue data,” Research Director Kazuto Suzuki told the Straits Times, adding that the local municipalities face time and personnel constraints and that the number of errors—linking bank accounts, health insurance accounts, pension accounts, residency certificates, and disability certificates to the wrong people—that have surfaced was “well within the margin of error” given the size of Japan’s population.

“There has been an over-exaggeration of the risks and a disregard of the merits of digitalisation,” Suzuki said. “While there has been significant impact on privacy, this needs to be done. The government must fix the problem—not change the policy.”

“Japan’s drive to go digital dogged by issues of cyber security, privacy,” Straits Times

Profile of Research Director Kazuto Suzuki



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