'I've never used a computer': Japan cybersecurity minister

Japan's recently appointed cybersecurity and Olympics minister has told parliament he has never used a computer in his life, though he is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, responsible for 2020 Olympics cybersecurity, says he has staff to 'do that kind of thing'

When asked whether he has ever used a computer, Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan's minister responsible for cybersecurity and the Olympics, told parliamentarians, "I give instructions to my aide and so I don't punch into a computer myself." (REUTERS)

Japan's recently appointed cybersecurity and Olympics minister has told parliament he has never used a computer in his life, though he is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, was named to the two posts last month by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, having never held a cabinet position before during his 22 years in parliament.

The minister made the admission at a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday when asked by an opposition lawmaker if he was computer literate.

"I've been independent since I was 25 and have always directed my staff and secretaries to do that kind of thing," Sakurada replied. "I've never used a computer!"

"I give instructions to my aide and so I don't punch into a computer myself," Sakurada said. "But I am confident our work is flawless."

Sakurada also made comments that appeared to show he had no idea what a USB port might be.

Prone to gaffes

When asked by a lawmaker how someone lacking computer skills could be in charge of cybersecurity, Sakurada said policy was decided broadly by a number of people in his office and the national government, and he was confident there would be no problems.

Sakurada's responses in parliament and news conferences have drawn criticism before. Addressing another parliamentary committee, the minister had slipped up by saying the Olympics would cost Japan $17.50 instead of $1.75 billion.

He has also blamed his mistakes on the opposition not submitting questions in advance, although they had, and during news conferences for the Olympics he has often simply answered: "I don't know."

With files from The Associated Press