On December 9, 2019, the EU Cyber Direct in cooperation with the Genron NPO, brought together 30-40 participants from Europe, Japan and South Korea in Tokyo to discuss responsibility in cyberspace. The discussion about responsible behaviour in cyberspace has dominated international debate, primarily through the ongoing UN processes. However, beyond the global discussions, we have seen little investigation into regional interpretations of this approach that is generally defined as adherence to norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, application of international law and confidence building measures. Each of these terms, however, is linked to the regional context in which it is applied and through which it is interpreted. Mindful of such cultural aspects in the interpretation, the focus of this session was to look at various regional perspectives in East Asia. In particular, the role that China plays in these discussions: both as a spoiler and constructive player, as a partner and competitor.
During the discussions the importance of deterring malicious state actors was emphasized. The EU, Japan and ROK can raise the price for malicious state actors to conduct cyber attacks by introducing targeted measures and enhancing information-sharing between the EU and partners in East Asia. Participants pointed to the need to build resilience especially in the area of critical infrastructure. On the international stage the EU, Japan and ROK can also promote responsibility by further cooperation in international forums such as the UN processes.