Japan's Cybersecurity Chief Doesn't Know What USB Drives Are

Yoshitaka Sakurada also doesn't use computers; that's what he has secretaries for
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2018 9:10 AM CST
Japan's Cybersecurity Chief: I Don't Use Computers but My Secretaries Do
In this Oct. 2, 2018, file photo, Yoshitaka Sakurada arrives at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

"Fake it until you make it" has apparently been the secret M.O. of Japan's cybersecurity chief, though it's not so secret anymore. The New York Times reports lawmakers there were "aghast" Wednesday when, during a parliamentary questioning session, 68-year-old Yoshitaka Sakurada admitted he doesn't do any work on a computer, because that's what he has secretaries or other workers for. Sakurada—IDed by the Guardian as having been appointed deputy chief of Japan's cybersecurity strategy office just last month—didn't even appear to be familiar with the basics on computers, seeming confused and defensive about what USB drives were when asked if they were used at nuclear power plants. "I don't know details well," he retorted, per the Times. "So how about having an expert answer your question if necessary, how's that?"

By way of explanation, he said that "since the age of 25, I have instructed my employees and secretaries, so I don't use computers myself." Others were left shaking their heads, with one opposition lawmaker incredulously putting out the understatement of the day: "I can't believe that a person who never used a computer is in charge of cybersecurity measures." The Asahi Shimbun notes this isn't the first time Sakurada has shown off his "knack for giving baffling replies." The minister is also in charge of plans for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and at a presser last week, he "showed a stunning lack of understanding of basic issues concerning the event," the paper says. Sakurada said he had trouble answering such questions because he didn't know the questions ahead of time. (Meanwhile, the US has its own cybersecurity issues.)

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