Japan's Self-Defense Forces launched a newly reorganized cyber-defense unit Thursday to enhance the country's response to attacks in cyberspace, a security domain that has played an increasingly important role in global conflicts.

The group, composed of around 540 personnel, is tasked with training human resources, supporting practical training, and managing information and communication networks.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi (L) hands over a flag to the commander of the Self-Defense Forces' cyber-defense unit on March 17, 2022, at the ministry in Tokyo. (Pool photo)(Kyodo)

The Japanese government sees the fields of outer space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum as key pillars in the military balance among nations and in boosting Japan's defense capabilities.

The establishment of the new cyber unit at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tokyo reflects the urgent need to improve the SDF's capabilities in cyberspace.

"The threat of cyberattacks has been increasing and becoming more sophisticated day by day. As we face an urgent task to appropriately respond to it, the reorganization of the defense unit is a major step forward," Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said in a ceremony to mark the launch of the unit.

The new unit combines cyber departments that had been dispersed among the Ground, Maritime and Air self-defense forces and will centralize cyber countermeasures.

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