From: RIA Novosti

Estonia has urged Japan to deepen its collaboration with NATO on cyber defense and to take part in joint cyber defense exercises, the Estonian Defense Ministry said.

Estonia’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Mikk Marran, who is on a visit to Japan, met on Monday with Japan’s Vice Minister of Defense Hironori Kanazawa. The sides discussed various issues of military cooperation between Japan and NATO-member Estonia, focusing on cyber security.

“The structure of the Estonian and Japanese agencies involved in cyber defense is very similar; however, contacts between Estonian and Japanese cyber specialists to date have been few,” Marran said, inviting Japan to contribute to the work of NATO’s Cyber Defense Centre in Tallinn.

Estonia has been advocating the establishment of international cyber security bodies since 2007 after a series of targeted online attacks disrupted the operation of some of Estonia’s most important web services.

Estonian authorities accused Russia of staging the “cyber assaults”, but Moscow repudiated those accusations as ungrounded.

Cyber security experts from the European Union and NATO could not establish a “Russian trace” in the attacks as they had been launched by software running on machines in more than 100 different countries.

In May 2008, seven NATO nations and the Allied Command Transformation signed the documents for the formal establishment of a Cooperative Cyber Defense (CCD) Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Tallinn.

There are currently 11 countries involved within the center: Estonia, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Latvia, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, the United States and the Netherlands.

Turkey has announced its intent to join the work of the center in the near future.