CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Security

Japan's cybersecurity minister admits he's never used a computer

"I give instructions to my aide."

JAPAN-POLITICS-ABE

Japanese cybersecurity minister Yoshitaka Sakurada -- not a big computer guy.

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP/Getty Images

Japan's minister in charge of cybersecurity said Wednesday that he hadn't used a computer, and he seemed clueless about what a USB port is.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, revealed that he has no use for the devices and that he's delegated such work to his secretaries since he started running his own business when he was 25, the New York Times reported.

"I give instructions to my aide and so I don't punch into a computer myself," he said of his relationship with technology in his current role, according to the Associated Press. "But I am confident our work is flawless."

Sakurada's also overseeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and The Asahi Shimbun wrote last week that he "showed a stunning lack of understanding of basic issues concerning the event." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave Sakurada responsibility for cybersecurity and the Olympics in an October cabinet reshuffle.

Now playing: Watch this: US officials charge North Korean over major hacks like...
3:54

Governments around the world have made cybersecurity a priority in recent years to ward off hackers, spies, malware and other threats to vulnerable computer systems.

Fellow lawmakers asked Sakurada, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, about the security risks of using USB drives in nuclear power plants, but the Times reported that he seemed confused about the topic.

"I don't know details well," he said. "So how about having an expert answer your question if necessary, how's that?"

His responses earned laughter and criticism from opposition politicians.

"I can't believe that a person who never used a computer is in charge of cybersecurity measures," said Masato Imai, of the opposing Democratic Party.

However, one Twitter commenter saw the bright side of Sakurada's lack of computer skills, the Guardian noted:

"If a hacker targets this Minister Sakurada, they wouldn't be able to steal any information. Indeed it might be the strongest kind of security!"

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.

Best Black Friday 2018 deals: The best discounts we've found so far.