Japan's new cybersecurity minister admits never having used a computer


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/15/japans-new-cybersecurity-min.html


I don’t see why this guy being grossly unqualified for this particular government job should preclude him from holding this position. We’ve been doing this in America for years with, uh, stellar results.


One doesn’t have to be a great technician to be a great manager. Here’s a suggestion: don’t let this guy repair your computer.

Also, I recall reading that home computers are surprisingly less common in Japan than the US. But that could have been ten years ago.


This Space Harrier story is great!


The job sounds suspiciously like Cybersecurity Czar in the U.S. That is, a person who is simply a fall guy in place for the next screw up.


Is the Japanese government now emulating the trump admin when it comes to appointing the heads of government administration?


In Japanese, “cyber” sounds like “funeral” (according to Google Translate). Maybe he thinks he’s Funeral Security Minister Sakurada. He’ll be attending a funeral for his job in a few days.


He might be a good manager, but he is abysmally ignorant of what he is managing. That means he does not understand the subject he is making policy on and cannot effectively carry out his duties.


According to my Google translate, “cyber” is サイバー, “saibā”, while “funeral” is 葬儀, “sõgi”. I guess there may be more than one word for “funeral”, so I’m interested in why I got a different answer to you.


The idea that you don’t need subject knowledge to be a good manager is a myth propagated by MBAs. Subject knowledge is not sufficient, but it is necessary.



Big deal. Neither have I.


What’s more, this isn’t like a person managing a service-delivery department where as long as the staff do their jobs everything is fine. Ministers make decisions. Of course they won’t be the leading subject matter experts, and it’s good that they have people who know more than them working for them. But no knowledge at all? That’s a big problem.


I think I’ve worked with this guy… Wait, I think every single person from our private equity firm overlords was this guy.


You know this guy makes his secretary

  • print out his emails for him

  • so he can scribble a reply on the bottom

  • so she can type it up and send it.



typed in “cyber”, got Japanese characters and the transliteration “saijo”, which i supposed was as close as it could get > typed in “saijo” and hit the swap arrows, got “funeral”


Don’t leave out the lawyers, they’re notorious for thinking they can understand everybody’s job and business in a few minutes, because ‘they’re smarter than everybody else’.


I got 才女, “talented women”!


Ah, one of those situations. I love (to watch) the strange status stratification in companies.

Back in the day (1989?), at an engineering company, the engineers had computers at their desk. Secretaries had typewriters (and computers). That was the way of it.

One day I had to type up requisitions for $300K+ of computers and software. On three-part forms. Fine. There was spiffy typewriter at an empty desk, so I used that. I expected the “girl stuff” reactions from the 99% male engineers, but even the secretaries gave me weird looks. “You can use a typewriter?” It was electronic with a type-ahead window and all the just-short-of-word-processor features. “Umm, yeah?”


In America, he’d know what a USB drive is, he’d just be bad at computers. This minister is uniquely Japanese is managing to avoid touching a computer for multiple decades.

Truly we can all learn from his single minded determination to excel in his endeavor of not-being-a-computer-toucher.