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Japan officially joins NATO’s cyber defense center

Japan’s Ministry of Defence (JMOD) announced on Friday that it has formally joined NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE).

The CCDCOE is recognized as an international military organization and cyber defence hub focusing on research, training and exercises, like its yearly red team versus blue team cyber war game, Locked Shields.

Japan participated in the event in both 2021 and 2022. The land of the rising sun has previously participated participated in other NATO-related large-scale cyber exercises.

Japan’s decision to join CCDCOE was originally announced in January 2018 by the late prime minister Shinzō Abe.

At the time, CCDCOE director Merle Maigre said Japan joining the center would be “a concrete step forward signalling the commitment in cyber defence cooperation between like-minded nations.”

Japan is also reportedly cozying up to the US for a next-generation semiconductor research collaboration, and bringing $2.4 billion with it. The two countries will seek to develop 2-nanometer manufacturing processes. Participating companies in each country are not yet announced.

Earlier this month, the US was said to be working on an agreement for companies in the Netherlands and Japan to restrict sales of semiconductor equipment to China. The Netherlands is the home to ASML, one of the largest suppliers of lithography systems for chip manufacturing in the world, while Canon in Japan is just one of the companies there building similar equipment.

The budget bill detailing the earmarked collab money also includes $3 billion for chip production and $2.5 billion for chip materials. ®