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Defense Ministry creates post to counter cover-ups

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Defense Ministry set up a new post on Wednesday as part of its efforts to prevent any recurrence of problems similar to a cover-up of daily activity logs from Ground Self-Defense Force troops on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

The official to serve in the new position will retrospectively investigate all cases in which the ministry decided not to disclose documents due to their absence after receiving requests and will urge authorities to release such documents if they are found.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera gave instructions on the new post to officials for information disclosure, including SDF personnel.

“It is important to restore confidence in the SDF as soon as possible by surely implementing preventive measures and properly fulfilling accountability to nationals,” Onodera stressed.

In 2002, it came to light that the Defense Agency, the predecessor of the ministry, inquired into the backgrounds of those who requested that information be disclosed and that senior officials viewed the list of such requesters, including personal information.

After the scandal, a position was established to manage personal information appropriately.

The post set up on Wednesday will replace it.Speech

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