Cyber-security minister in Japan isn’t keen on using computers: Abe and cronyism

Cyber-security minister in Japan isn’t keen on using computers: Abe and cronyism

Chika Mori and Kanako Itamae

Modern Tokyo Times


The minister in charge of cyber-security in Japan, according to reports, has never bothered to use a computer during his working life. Obviously, following on from this, he doesn’t know much about the in-depth knowledge of cyber-security. However, rather than lambasting Yoshitaka Sakurada, the emphasis should be put on cronyism within the mindset of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After all, the leader of Japan is responsible for selecting Sakurada for being the minister of cyber-security. Equally, fellow Cabinet ministers will surely know about his working habits – therefore, why didn’t other Cabinet ministers highlight the bizarre fact that he doesn’t use computers? Similarly, senior bureaucrats will know about his working habits. Hence, it is a systematic failure based on Abe’s cronyism and lack of liaison between senior politicians and bureaucrats.

Sakurada is reported to have stated, “Since I was 25 years old and independent I have instructed my staff and secretaries. I have never used a computer in my life.”

Lee Jay Walker, Modern Tokyo Times, stipulates, “It is well and fine to ridicule Sakurada, in relation to accepting the ministerial position of being in charge of cyber-security. Yet, the real ridicule belongs to the ineptness of Abe for selecting him. Following on from this is the fact that senior Cabinet personnel did not question why he was selected. However, in fairness to Sakurada – even if it isn’t a great defense – it should be stipulated that all over the world you have politicians that have limited ministerial knowledge of the area they are responsible for. Therefore, in this light, it merely backs up the theory that political cronyism runs deep in many nations – irrespective if democratic or undemocratic.”

Masato Imai, from the opposition Democratic Party, stated, “I find it unbelievable that someone who is responsible for cyber-security measures has never used a computer.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Japan is in the midst of revising its cyber security laws ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. However, a Cabinet minister who is supposed to be shaping these laws made a surprising admission this week: He doesn’t use a computer.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “Sadly, in Japan, the political opposition to the ruling party is inept because you currently don’t have a genuine opposition of any value. Therefore, Abe’s power and estranged picks for ministerial positions are often based on tight-knit connections, cronyism, and ineptitude – of course, some senior officials have been selected on merit.”

Overall, it does appear bizarre to select Sakurada to be in charge of cyber-security. Yet, the real mocking belongs to the individual who selected him.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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