Photo/Illutration Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno speaks at a news conference on Jan. 25. (Koichi Ueda)

The central government is setting up an organization within the Cabinet Secretariat to take on disinformation campaigns, such as fake news and impersonator accounts.

“Spreading fake information not only threatens universal values but also may cause negative impacts on security,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a Jan. 25 news conference where he announced details of the new body.

“We plan to establish a new arrangement within the government aimed at gathering and analyzing knowledge about disinformation, enhance external information dissemination and boost cooperation with organizations outside the government.”

The new organization is expected to quickly publish accurate information when fake information starts to spread online. The government aims to launch the rapid-response unit as early as fiscal 2024.

Disinformation has become a rampant problem in the digital age.

In one high profile case from August, someone created a Twitter account pretending to be former Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, now special adviser to the prime minister, and posted a tweet criticizing Ukraine.

The impersonator account closely resembled Kishi’s official account, and the tweet was retweeted by users outside of Japan and caused confusion.

The policy outlining the new organization was included in the update of the National Security Strategy at the end of last year.

The strategy said the government will “enhance its capability to respond in information wars in the cognitive domain, including the spread of fake information.”

Under the government’s plan, the new organization will work in cooperation with the Cabinet information research unit and the Cabinet public relations unit, as well as the defense and foreign ministries.