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Release of investigative report on SDF log cover-up to be put off

  • July 21, 2017
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All papers reported on press remarks on Thursday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, who projected that Defense Minister Inada will be questioned by an independent inspection team about her possible involvement in the concealment of the daily activity logs kept by the GSDF unit in South Sudan. As a result, the release of the final report on the findings will probably be postponed from today until next Friday. Although the defense minister is technically not within the scope of the probe that she commissioned, the administration has decided that she should also be interviewed by the inspectors following recent media reports alleging her endorsement of a decision made by the vice defense minister and others not to reveal the existence of the electronic data of the logs that the ministry initially said had been destroyed. 


In a related piece, Yomiuri wrote that MOD civilian officials suspect that uniformed GSDF officials leaked information that would be harmful to Inada out of frustration that the inspectors are apparently inclined to put most of the blame on the GSDF for the concealment scandal. Senior GSDF officials are also alarmed by the growing possibility that due to the scandal, someone from the GSDF may not be tapped as the next chairman of the Joint Staff Council even though the top SDF post is alternately appointed to representatives of the three services. The daily added that the apparent “revolt” by the GSDF raises doubts about “civilian control” of the military. Mainichi ran a similar story, quoting an unnamed GSDF official as saying: “The inspectors were about to write something that is not true. There is no question that the GSDF has reacted strongly. The public has to be given accurate information.” 


Sankei chastised Inada for throwing the ministry into confusion, noting that she has often surprised MOD and SDF officials by wearing “unusual” attire during official overseas trips. These officials were also disappointed by the minister’s “erratic” remarks at the Diet. On her part, the minister has complained that uniformed officials have not heeded her instructions.

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