GSDF head informed of existence of records
NHK -- Mar 17
Senior officials of the Defense Ministry have exclusively told NHK that the head of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force had been informed that the GSDF possesses daily reports from peace-keepers stationed in South Sudan. The ministry earlier said the reports had been discarded.

The records detail the daily activity of the Self-Defense Force unit on a UN peacekeeping mission in the African country South Sudan.

In December, the Defense Ministry said reports by the unit during major armed clashes in July of last year had been discarded by the GSDF. But it was revealed that in fact the GSDF electronically stored the records.

The senior ministry officials said Ground Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff, General Toshiya Okabe, was told of the existence of the records in mid-January. They said the GSDF at one time considered making the contents of the records publicly available.

But in late January, top ministry bureaucrats ruled out releasing the records because they contradicted official statements.

In February, high-ranking GSDF officers ordered the division in charge to delete the digital data.

At a news conference on Thursday, General Toshiya Okabe declined to comment on the matter. He said he takes the situation seriously and that the GSDF will fully cooperate with the Defense Ministry in a special investigation of the matter.

Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada ordered an independent probe into the issue.

破棄したとされていた南スーダンPKO(国連平和維持活動)の日報を陸上自衛隊が保管していた問題で、陸上自衛隊トップの陸上幕僚長が「日報が保管されている」と報告を受けていたことが新たに分かりました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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