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Japan’s minister in charge of cybersecurity says ‘‘I don’t use computers”


Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s minister in charge of cybersecurity, found himself in hot water again after making it known that he doesn’t use computers, even though he is a deputy head of the government panel on cybersecurity and is tasked with overseeing policies on such matters. During a Lower House Cabinet Committee meeting, Sakurada, who is also the minister in charge of the Olympics, said: “I don’t use computers because since I was 25 I have been in a position of authority where secretaries and employees handled such tasks for me.”

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s Minister in charge of cyber-security

Sakurada was answering questions posed by Masato Imai, an independent Lower House lawmaker. In response to Sakurada’s comments, Imai said: “It’s shocking to me that someone who hasn’t even touched computers is responsible for dealing with cybersecurity policies.”

When Takeshi Saiki, a member of the Democratic Party for the People, asked him about the measures that are in place to guard against cyber attacks on nuclear power plants, Sakurada answered that: “I don’t know the exact details.”

Sakurada said cybersecurity is an important issue for the government and that he is confident of his abilities as the minister since his role is to guide experts from the government and private-sector companies in creating recommendations and policies for the government and that it is not necessary for him to know “small details”

Minister Sakurada said that he still has a manual typewriter at home

At an Upper House Budget Committee meeting that was held last week, Sakurada was criticized when he made mistakes answering basic questions about nuclear power plant security. He is also in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and he was also criticized last week when he couldn’t answer questions related to organizing the committee’s three policy pillars and Tokyo 2020 Olympic budget. The questioning of Sakurada was frequently interrupted as he relied almost entirely on his aides to answer questions.

Members of the Democratic Party and various business executives have criticized Sakura as someone who is technology “illiterate” and therefore can’t understand technologies that are at the forefront of the 4.0 Industrial Revolution and can’t understand where opportunities or problems exist. They have recommended that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately replace Sakurada with an individual who understands technology and can work with private sector companies to held them succeed in the future.



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