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GSDF’s South Sudan daily logs newly found

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Daily reports covering more than one year of the Ground Self-Defense Force troops’ activities in South Sudan where they were dispatched to join a U.N. peacekeeping mission have been newly found, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Monday.

The daily activity logs had been kept at the Defense Ministry’s Defense Intelligence Headquarters, Onodera told a meeting of the House of Councillors Audit Committee, answering a question from Kaneshige Wakamatsu, a member of Komeito, the coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The discovery resulted from work to find any undiscovered daily reports from all Self-Defense Forces troops dispatched overseas, according to the minister. The GSDF sent troops to the African country between 2012 and 2017 to take part in the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS.

The newly found reports “are seen including” the daily logs for July 7-12, 2016, Onodera said. The ministry had previously said that the documents for the period did not exist, in response to a request for information disclosure.

“We can’t help but think that the ministry’s response was inappropriate,” Onodera said. “I offer my apologies again as defense minister.”

At the committee meeting, Wakamatsu urged Onodera to take measures, including a possible revision of the public records management law, to prevent any recurrence of similar problems.Speech

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