December 7, 2018
Tokyo--Japan plans to effectively ban Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from contracts with government agencies and the Self-Defense Forces for national security reasons, government sources said Friday.
The move comes in response to allegations that the two firms' products are linked to intelligence-gathering and cyberattacks involving the Chinese government.
Japan will not procure from suspicious suppliers, a senior government official said, without naming them. The ban on Huawei and ZTE equipment may draw a harsh response from Beijing.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the government "will work hard on improving cybersecurity." But he declined to elaborate.
At a separate press conference, cybersecurity minister Yoshitaka Sakurada said, "We need to handle many threats, including supply chain risk." "We will take necessary actions while looking at moves by other countries," he said.
The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Donald Trump in August, prohibits government agencies and contractors from using certain tech products from Huawei and other Chinese firms.
The United States is said to have urged its allies, including Japan, to take similar measures.
Australia and New Zealand have banned Huawei and others from projects to build fifth-generation, or 5G, mobile networks.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has been arrested by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. government. Jiji Press
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