Defense report stresses space, cyber security

Japan's annual defense report stresses the importance of gaining superiority in new areas, including space and cyber security.

The Defense White Paper, released on Friday, says technological development will lead to fundamental changes in national security. It emphasizes that securing advantages in space, cyber security and electromagnetic waves will be essential.

The report says North Korea poses a serious and imminent threat to Japan's security. It points out that the North has been test-launching ballistic missiles at an unprecedented pace in recent years, and says the country is likely to have developed small nuclear warheads.

The white paper mentions Japan's deteriorating ties with South Korea. It says Tokyo plans to promote defense cooperation in a range of areas, but Seoul's negative responses are having an adverse impact on such efforts. In August, South Korea decided to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, with Japan. The pact will expire in November.

The report also refers to the plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in northern Japan. It says the Defense Ministry has sincerely reflected on its inappropriate handling of survey data and other mistakes.