China’s military is thought to have instructed a hacker group to conduct cyberattacks on nearly 200 Japanese research institutions and firms, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing unidentified people in a police investigation.
The investigators found a member of China’s Communist Party made contracts under a false name for rental servers in Japan that were used in the attacks on the Japanese space agency JAXA in 2016, the broadcaster said.
Investigators believe the cyberattacks were carried out by a group known as Tick under the instruction of the People’s Liberation Army.
Two men involved with contracts for the servers have left Japan, NHK said.
A Chinese systems engineer in his 30s, who is a Chinese Communist Party member, was referred to prosecutors over his alleged involvement in the attacks, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed investigative sources.
The reported allegations, the latest in a series of similar incidents, come amid increasingly difficult relations between Japan and its biggest trading partner.
The topic of ties with China dominated the agenda at
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s summit with US President Joe Biden in Washington last week.