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Japan's cybersecurity minister says he's never used a computer

By midian182 · 21 replies
Nov 15, 2018
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  1. Sakurada was last month promoted to cybersecurity and Olympics minister, a role that means he is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.

    At a parliamentary commission meeting yesterday, Sakurada faced a question from Masato Imai, an independent Lower House lawmaker, regarding his computer literacy. “I’ve been independent since I was 25 and have always directed my staff and secretaries to do that kind of thing,” Sakurada replied. “I’ve never used a computer!”

    The minister also appeared confused when asked whether USB drives were used in Japan’s nuclear power facilities, and said he “doesn't know the details” when asked what cybersecurity measures were in place at the plants.

    When questioned over how someone with such little knowledge of technology could be in charge of cybersecurity, Sakurada said there would be no problems as policy was decided broadly by a number of people in his office and the national government.

    “It’s unbelievable that someone who has not touched computers is responsible for cybersecurity policies,” said Imai.

    This isn’t new territory for Sakurada. He previously struggled to answer simple questions about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. If only he knew how to look them up on Google.

    Permalink to story.

  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,362   +605

    No kidding!
    veLa, Clamyboy74 and MonsterZero like this.
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,426   +1,426

    Meh... actually, as someone totally ignorant, he's probably open to suggestions from the experts on his staff. As "head", he'd only he responsible for approving decisions already made by others.

    What is generally dangerous, is when someone at the top has a little bit of knowledge - and therefore thinks they know better than the experts beneath them.
    Danny101, Humza, Clamyboy74 and 8 others like this.
  4. I really like Japan and the Japanese. That just took a hit.
    Sakurada is the boss, the man for whom "the buck stops here', how can he possibly know which of the suggestions of his subordinates is worthwhile or personally contribute to policy when the man is baffled by a USB drive?
    Danny101 likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,142   +3,563

    So, how do you say "doh" in Japanese????

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +774

    What's new? Government officials making decisions on things they know nothing about.
    Clamyboy74, psycros and TheBigT42 like this.
  7. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 489   +302

    It's not about knowledge of the cyber-security per-se but the tactics in implementing a security.

    Think of it as game designing. He designs the game and let the programmers and artists bring his design to life. He may never know a thing about programming or computer drawing, but he knows what he wants and let the others make his designs work. But he's in-charge of the working and outcome of the game.
    Clamyboy74 and kombu like this.
  8. Richard M

    Richard M TS Member

    Glad to see that the US Govt is not the only country that puts people with zero knowledge about a subject in charge of the agency responsible for that subject. I do find it somewhat surprising that it is the Japanese that do this as I thought they cared more about being competent then we do here.
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,890   +1,166

    Those that can, do. Those that can't, work in government. LOL
    Danny101, Clamyboy74 and psycros like this.
  10. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Evangelist Posts: 339   +152

    Sakurada will ask one day: "What does pwned mean?" :)
    Clamyboy74 and senketsu like this.
  11. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 239   +88

    I'm so stupid I can't even get a high paying job at something I KNOW
  12. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,618   +2,353

    Not that surprising, really. Japan's government and business sectors are are rife with nepotism and other forms of cronyism. The days when most of the executives worked their way up from the bottom has long since passed - it just took Japan a little longer to catch up with the rest of the world. In the US a two year business degree is worth more than five years on the job..you'll make manager long before some rank-and-file lifer.
  13. Malakai2k

    Malakai2k TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I see it all the time in the private sector. There are many accountants in business that are also IT decision makers and worse still school librarians that are the head of IT.
  14. This guy is good. The best computer security is to not even use or have one. If you don't want the be spied on, keep them away from you.
  15. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 166   +49

    Best cybersecurity comes with no computers I guess.
  16. Humza

    Humza TechSpot Staff Posts: 200   +136

  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,148

    I can tell by most of the replies that there are no senior levels around here.
  18. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 239   +88

    How so? You don't need to be technical and use big words to describe "stupid"
  19. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,148

    Senior management = big words?
    To answer your question, they don't do stuff, they make stuff happen.
  20. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,748   +1,489

    OH how nice it would be if the White House could only say the same thing.
  21. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 706   +262

  22. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,360   +2,867

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