Japan ramps up screening of foreign researchers to prevent technology leaks


Japan has stepped up screening procedures for foreign researchers applying for visas as part of measures to prevent technology leaks, including requiring disclosure of work history.

Foreign researchers wishing to enter Japan must submit past research papers and a Certificate of Eligibility from their employer.Must declare purpose of travel and place of stay in Japan, Nikkei Asia report.

Japanese universities have also been asked to increase scrutiny of foreign students and academics to prevent spying on campus.

Under the new guidelines, universities are required to conduct background checks and flag persons of interest, including those with ties to foreign governments or defense-related agencies.

The new screening is designed as an additional layer on top of the entry visa process.

For example, until recently, a Chinese scholar who received a grant from the Chinese government had few hurdles to earn a doctorate in cutting-edge radar technology in Japan and return home to use his research for military purposes. was.

The same academic could have been rejected as a high-risk candidate in the United States, which is high-risk for universities. Universities, like individuals, can be held liable for violations of export controls.

Many of Japan’s universities are desperate to fill vacancies as the population’s aging population dwindles student populations and foreigners have provided a lifeline.

According to government data, Chinese students accounted for 44% of Japan’s 279,597 foreign university students in 2020, while the United States was the top destination for Japanese researchers in 2019, followed by China. continued.

China’s Efforts to Undermine the US Federal Reserve

Senator Rob Portman (Ohio Republican), an influential member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, released a report (pdf) last month detailed China’s efforts to target the US Federal Reserve since at least 2013.

According to the report, China tried to recruit U.S.-based economists to share information in exchange for financial and other benefits.

The Federal Reserve has identified 13 people of interest as having ties to Chinese recruiters or having a pattern of being viewed as “potential concerns.” These individuals, dubbed the “P-Network,” worked across eight of the region’s Fed banks, according to the report.

“This investigation reveals that China’s vicious efforts to influence and steal information are not limited to the science and technology sector. US economic and financial policies are also being targeted by the Chinese government,” Portman said. said Mr.

The report said the problem was exacerbated by “a lack of internal counterintelligence capabilities in the Federal Reserve or sufficient ongoing cooperation with federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”

“If left unchecked, these gaps continue to give China an avenue to disrupt the integrity of the U.S. financial system and jeopardize U.S. national security.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldogra Fredry

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Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.