Japan will not join U.S. plan to bar China from telecoms networks: Yomiuri

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has told the United States that Tokyo will not, at the moment, join Washington’s plan to exclude Chinese firms from telecommunications networks, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Friday, citing several sources.

Japan will take its own steps to respond in case there are worries over security issue, while Tokyo will cooperate with the United States, the paper said.

The U.S. State Department published in August an update of a plan called the “Clean Network” calling for telecom companies, cloud service providers, and mobile apps of Chinese origin to be kept out of the United States.

The United States is pressing allies to bar Huawei [HWT.UL] from next generation 5G mobile phone networks on security grounds.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the “Clean Network” plan when he met Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo earlier this month, the Yomiuri said.

Japan told the United States that Tokyo cannot join a framework which excludes a specific nation but will reconsider if there is any change to the current U.S. plan, according to the report.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the top government spokesman, responded to the Yomiuri report by saying his understanding was there was no exchange of views on the “Clean Network” plan during the meeting between Pompeo and Motegi but the U.S. explained its overall cybersecurity efforts.

“Our nation wants to continue to strengthen cooperation in the area of cybersecurity with the U.S.” Kato said during a news conference on Friday.

Japan will also take steps to secure cybersecurity safety by taking steps to reduce supply chain risks when procuring information and communication equipment, he said.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman