July 22, 2024
Japan Defense Ministry and Minoru Kihara Unveils AI Policy

Japan Defense Ministry and Minoru Kihara Unveils AI Policy

The Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and the defense ministry introduced their first-ever basic policy on Tuesday to promote the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in defense operations. This move aims to address changes in defense strategies driven by technological advancements and to streamline the ministry’s work. The policy focuses on seven key areas: detection and identification of military targets, command and control, and logistic support.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara holds a press conference in Tokyo on July 2, 2024. (Kyodo)

Enhancing Defense Capabilities with AI

The government document highlights that foreign nations have been working on AI utilization, stating it “could determine the situation of conflicts shortly, as has been pointed out.” The policy suggests that AI utilization will enhance the speed of combat operations, reduce human error, and advance labor-saving through automation. Additionally, the policy covers information gathering and analysis, unmanned defense assets, cybersecurity, and work efficiency. However, it acknowledges the limitations of AI, particularly in unprecedented situations, as AI relies on past data for learning. Concerns over credibility and misuse also remain.

Strategic Policy for Cyber Expertise

On the same day, the ministry introduced a strategic policy to secure human resources with cyber expertise, announcing plans to start recruiting such personnel under an independent category in fiscal 2025, starting next April. Defense Minister Minoru Kihara emphasized the importance of adapting to “the new forms of battle” using AI and cyber technologies, calling it “a big challenge for us in building up our defense capabilities.”

Minoru Kihara highlighted the need to deepen cooperation with the private sector and relevant foreign agencies by proactively conveying the Defense Ministry’s view. He also stressed the importance of accurately recognizing the risks associated with AI and taking measures to address its shortcomings.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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