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India-Japan Cyber Security Cooperation (12 October 2020)

India-Japan Cyber Security Cooperation (12 October 2020)

Why in News:

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar meet the other foreign ministers of the Australia-India-Japan-United States Quadrilateral or Quad in Tokyo.


India and Japan finalised an ambitious agreement on cyber-security to boost cooperation on 5G technology, critical information infrastructure and Artificial Intelligence. The two countries also pledged to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific with diversified supply chains. This was done during external affairs minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Tokyo, when he met his Japanese counterpart. The proposed cyber-security agreement will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development.


During Abe’s tenure, India and Japan came closer in the Indo-Pacific architecture.

Abe had spelt out his vision of the Confluence of the Two Seas in his 2007 speech when the Quad was formed.

In 2017, Chinese aggression grew in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and India’s borders in Doklam.

Quad was revived as Indian, Japanese, Australia and US officials met in Manila on the sidelines of the East Asia summit.

Summary of the Debate

Key highlights of the proposed cyber-security agreement:

  • India and Japan welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries.
  • Japan agreed to be the lead partner in the connectivity pillar of the Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative (IPOI). The IPOI is an India-backed framework aimed at making meaningful efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Both the countries deliberated on a broad range of areas including maritime security, trade and investment, manufacturing, connectivity and infrastructure and reform of the United Nations.
  • The agreement will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development, and security and resilience in critical information infrastructure, 5G, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Major threats to India on cyber front:

  • India is one of the most vulnerable nations on cyber front because India do not have an offensive capability at all. That kind of capability has never been created in this country. India have a passive defence kind of capability.76% Indian companies hit by cyberattacks in 2018, shows study | Business  Standard News
  • India lacking in cyber capability because of a lack of political will.
  • India is particularly vulnerable for the simple reason that it is highly dependent on import of electronics and whether it’s computers or laptops or smartphones.
  • There are more than 90 million Chinese smartphones in India, now each of the smartphone can become a weapon very easily.
  • For India, the struggle is even bigger because India not only have to deal with the cyber warfare but also deal with the problem of hardware.
  • India and Japan are equally cognizant of this reality that this is not simply about stealing of technology or the development of technology, this is much more diverse and significant in terms of where these democracies themselves stand.

Way Forward:

  • India and Japan need to prioritize the areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, fourth Industrial revolution technologies and emerging strategic technologies.
  • The critical information infrastructure is the crux of the matter and that is where India need to protect the entire world.
  • It is very necessary for all countries especially countries like Japan, India and democratic countries to join hands to increase intelligence, to share experience, to enhance the training programs.
  • There is need to create the economic advantage for India in working with all the Quad countries in a win-win capability.
  • In the 4th Industrial revolution and Post covid-19, the countries, societies and economies are going to be dependent on cyber space which makes these societies vulnerable and that means that for these countries and for India and Japan it becomes imperative that they start coordinating and collaborating more and more.

Important points made by the Guests

Vishnu Prakash, Former Ambassador

  • The Japanese side is attaching a lot of significance to the event that was hosted for the Quad ministers. It was the first in-person meeting which was held during the covid era and the first meeting under the premiership of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
  • For India, the relationship with Japan is very significant. It’s a global and strategic partnership, it’s a tech giant and our technology cooperation, our manufacturing cooperation, industrial cooperation is one of the key foundation or key salient aspects of the relationship.
  • The cyber security cooperation assumes great significance in the present day. Japan and India have been targets of cyber intrusions, cyber warfare, cyber attacks from many countries.
  • Japan has been pretty open in giving cutting-edge technology to India.
  • In terms of technology, we already have an India Japan digital partnership which was concluded in 2018. Japan has been developing Industrial parks and Industrial hubs in India.

Rahul Chaudhry, Chair, Homeland Security, FICCI

  • This concept was brought to us by Mr. Abe in 2007 and 2007 was the time when China started to create its great wall of keeping the world’s internet out.
  • We have now vulnerabilities already built into our critical networks and one of the most critical civil networks is power infrastructure, the PGCIL and some of these power grid companies are the biggest issues which we could face.
  • We have unfortunately allowed Chinese companies to provide command and control into Northeast, into North, in fact the tenders which went in the Chinese company bid at material cost minus 10 percent to get those tenders.
  • Japan has one major advantage; Japan was the first country which blocked the Chinese out. There are enough infrastructure capabilities where both the countries can come together and one of the major advantages India has which can be multiplied by the Chinese.
  • Most of the technologies require a lot of testing which means lots of manpower and it can make win-win for both India and Japan and for making that happened a secure critical infrastructure is required.
  • We need this critical infrastructure which is secure between Japan, India, Australia and US and create this capability and that would cost probably a billion dollars, but that billion dollars is the R and D hub from where the new technology can be created much faster and India could play that critical role of providing the testing manpower.

Prof. Harsh V. Pant, Head, Strategic Studies Programme, ORF

  • Quad is looking at an evolution in terms of agenda that quad is looking at and cyber security is one of the issues that increasingly at the top of that agenda.
  • Today, the four nations US, Japan, Australia and India are convergent on the larger threat perception that is emanating around the cyber domain.
  • India and Japan tech ties have really taken off in the last decade especially under Mr. Abe where the idea was to make the relations more forward looking and technology was one area where given Japan’s inherent advantages and given the advantages that India gives in terms of economies of scale, the two can collaborate more and more.


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