Hackers Hit Japanese Government Web Sites

TOKYO (01/25/2000) - The Web sites of two Japanese government agencies were attacked by hackers in the last 24 hours, the first time such central government agencies have been attacked, said the government today.

In a press conference held today and reported on by the Kyodo World Service, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki confirmed the Japanese government was forced to temporarily shut down the hacked sites.

First to be hit was the Science and Technology Agency on Monday evening. Its Web site, at http://www.sta.go.jp/, was defaced with a short message which called the Japanese people "loserz," was signed by "Brazil p00 hackerz" and included a link to the site of Playboy magazine.

Overnight, the Web site of the Management and Coordination Agency, at http://www.somucho.go.jp/, was also hit. It was replaced with a message in both Chinese and English that said Japanese people have no courage to face history and are the disgrace of Asia. The Chinese portion of the message attacked the government and mentioned the war crime known as the rape of Nanjing, according to a translation made by local media.

The attack comes two days after a Japanese ultra-rightist historian denied the rape of Nanjing ever happened. The incident saw Japanese troops slaughter as many as 300,000 civilians in the Chinese city of Nanjing during occupation between 1937 and 1938. The incident, together with Japan's actions in World War II, remain major issues in much of Asia since Japan is regarded as not fully recognizing its past war crimes.

The comments made over the weekend incensed many Asians and resulted in more calls for Japan's government to formally recognize past war activities, despite attempts by the government to distance itself from the comments.

The Metropolitan Police Agency is investigating the incidents and both Web sites remain down.

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