Japanese Government Sees Rash of Hack Attacks

TOKYO (01/27/2000) - Hackers today again targeted several Japanese government Web sites -- the fourth straight day that government Web sites have been hit.

The Web site of the Management and Coordination Agency was attacked this morning, prompting the government to shut down access to the site, according to several reports in Japanese media.

That follows attacks yesterday on the sites of the National Institute for Research Advancement, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, and the Science and Technology Agency. It was the second attack this week for the Science and Technology Agency, a spokesman for the agency confirmed.

The government has formed a special panel to investigate and discuss the attacks and the Metropolitan Police Department is also looking into the incidents.

The attacks also follow a controversial meeting, entitled "The Biggest Lie of the 20th Century: Documenting the Nanjing Massacre," held over the weekend by a Japanese far-right group. The meeting reportedly pushed the group's view that the Nanjing Massacre never happened, according to reports in Japanese media.

The incident, in 1937, involved the slaughter of several hundred thousand civilians by the Japanese military after it took the Chinese city of Nanjing.

Estimates on the number of dead vary, but most fall between 200,000 and 300,000.

Several of the sites have had their home pages altered to include a Chinese text message denouncing Japan for the Nanjing Massacre, which along with other actions carried out by Japan's military in the 20th century, is still a very hot topic in much of Asia.

In a televised news conference this morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki sought to limit further damage by stating the government accepted that civilians were killed during the taking of Nanjing in 1937. The government had earlier in the week also stated that it disagreed with the views put forth by the group.

The Management and Coordination Web site is at http://www.somucho.go.jp/. The National Institute for Research Advancement is at http://www.nira.go.jp/. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper is at http://www.mainichi.co.jp/. The Science and Technology Agency is at http://www.sta.go.jp/.

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