Home Government Tech Policy Japan may be next to ban Huawei and ZTE: report
Japan may be next to ban Huawei and ZTE: report Pixabay Featured

Japan appears to have plans to follow a similar route as Australia to ban the Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation from its 5G networks on the grounds of security.

A report in the business newspaper Sakei Shimbun said there was a plan within government to list strict criteria for information security in order to prevent companies that did not meet these criteria from participating in 5G networks.

Australia announced its ban on Huawei and ZTE on 23 August but its statement, issued jointly in the names of Scott Morrison, who was Acting Home Affairs Minister at the time, and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, did not mention either company by name.

But it was made clear to telecommunications companies that involving either of the Chinese firms may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorised access or interference”.

“While we are protected as far as possible by current security controls, the new network, with its increased complexity, would render these current protections ineffective in 5G," it said.

“The government’s Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms, which commence on 18 September, place obligations on telecommunications companies to protect Australian networks from unauthorised interference or access that might prejudice our national security."

The Sankei Shimbun report there was apprehension in government circles that any ban would affect Japan-China relations at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to visit China in October.

Additionally, the report said, excluding the Chinese vendors could be in violation of the World Trade Organisation's non-discriminatory principles in trade.

Contacted for comment, a Huawei spokesperson told iTWire that after contacting the company's office in Japan, and finding there was no ban planned, the conclusion reached was that, "Some conservative newspaper wrote an unsubstantiated story."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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