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Japan appreciates US support in cyber security, welcomes stance on North Korea - FM

January 06, 2015, 10:10 UTC+3 TOKYO

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday after a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

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TOKYO, January 6. /TASS/. The Japanese side appreciates the U.S. support in the cyber security issue and welcomes Washington’s stance on North Korea in connection with hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday after a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Japan “strongly condemns” the cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. attributed to North Korea, Kishida told Kerry. Speaking to journalists after telephone talks with Kerry, Kishida said he told his U.S. counterpart that Japan “appreciates” the firm U.S. response to North Korea over the cyber attack, in an apparent reference to Washington's imposition Friday of new sanctions on Pyongyang, Kyodo news agency reported.

“Japan recognises that a cyber attack is a serious issue that relates to the security of a country,” Kishida said. “I said [to Kerry] that [Japan] strongly condemns [the cyber attack against the California-based company] and appreciates the firm U.S. response.”

While North Korea has denied involvement in the cyber attack, Kishida and Kerry affirmed continued cooperation between Japan and the United States over the case, according to Kishida. They also agreed that Tokyo and Washington will continue to contribute to peace and prosperity in the region and the world as this year marks the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II.

Kishida said he and Kerry did not discuss the new statement that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to issue to mark the 70th anniversary in August of Japan's surrender to the Allied forces in 1945, a move closely watched by neighbouring countries such as China and South Korea that suffered from Japan's wartime aggression.

Kishida and Kerry agreed the two governments will step up efforts to ensure a planned revision of Japan-U.S. defence cooperation guidelines will be a solid one. The revision was planned last year, but has been postponed until the spring of 2015 because Japan needs to work out the regulatory framework for the use of the so-called collective self-defence, the decision on which was made by Japanese lawmakers last summer. It is the collective self-defence clause that is expected to become the main point of a renewed agreement on bilateral defence co-operation between Tokyo and Washington.

Moreover, they agreed that the two allies will cooperate in dealing with various global challenges such as the crisis in Ukraine, the Islamic State militancy in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Ebola virus in West Africa, and ensure closer communication to this end, according to Kishida.

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