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Japan: Cyber Security Basic Act & Information Processing Promotion Act Amended

(June 15, 2016) In order to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity, in November 2014 the Diet (Japan’s parliament) adopted the Cybersecurity Basic Act (Act No. 104 of 2014).  (Sayuri Umeda, Japan: Cybersecurity Basic Act Adopted, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Dec. 10, 2014).)  An amendment to the Act was promulgated on April 22, 2016.  The Act on Promotion of Information Processing (Act No. 90 of 1970) was amended at the same time. (Act to Amend the Cyber Security Basic Act and Act on Promotion of Information Processing, Act No. 31 of 2016, National Printing Bureau website (in Japanese).)

The amendment of the Cybersecurity Basic Act gave the Cybersecurity Strategic Headquarters in the Cabinet and the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) the authority to monitor the security of designated and special entities established on the basis of particular laws or approvals of the government, in addition to their authority to monitor the security of government organs and independent administrative agencies. (Cybersecurity Basic Act (as amended) , arts. 13 & 25.) Because the NISC’s tasks have expanded, the amendment allows the NISC to delegate a part of its operations to the Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA). (Id. art. 30; About IPA, IPA website (last visited June 14, 2016).) 

The amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information Processing creates a new professional credential, “Information Processing Security Supporter.”  Information Processing Security Supporters will consult with and give advice to businesses on cybersecurity. (Act on Promotion of Information Processing (as amended), art. 6.) Applicants who qualify or who pass a test are registered with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. (Id. arts. 9 & 15.) Information Processing Security Supporters must take cyber security seminars held by the IPA. (Id. art. 26.) They have a confidentiality obligation (id. art. 25), which, if breached, is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 500,000 yen (about US$46,800) (id. art. 51).