[Strategic Intel] Japan joins NATO cyber defense organization

The Japanese have joined 20 other nations at the Cooperative Cyber Defense Center for Excellence based in Tallinn, Estonia, according to the NATO-affiliated organization.

“We welcome the decision of Japan to join , announced at the visit of Prime Minister of Japan in Tallinn This will further strengthen the knowledge base and reach of the currently 20-nation-strong Centre,” said a tweet sent out by the group.

“We welcome the decision of Japan to join CCDCOE as a Contributing Participant, membership status available to non-NATO nations. Japan is one of NATO’s key partners beyond the Euro-Atlantic area and a globally recognized technology and cybersecurity power. Joining the Centre will be a concrete step forward signaling the commitment in cyber defense cooperation between like-minded nations,” said Merle Maigre, Director of the center said.

The organization bills itself as a NATO-accredited cyber defense hub focusing on research, training, and exercises. It is the home of the Tallinn Manual 2.0, the most comprehensive guide on how International Law applies to cyber operations.

The organization hosts what it says is the most complex, international “live-fire” cyber defense exercises called Locked Shields.

Every spring the group hosts the International Conference on Cyber Conflict, CyCon, “a unique event joining key experts and decision-makers of the global cyber defense community.”

Members include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Austria, Finland and Sweden have become Contributing Participants, a status eligible for non-NATO nations.

Norway announced plans in September to also join the center. [source]

(Analyst comment: Under Prime Minister Abe, Japan continues to reassert itself as a major military power and player, in Asia and beyond.)

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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