SDF introduced camouflage fatigues designed for desert warfare during 1991 Gulf War

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force introduced desert-style camouflage fatigues for war exercises in 1991 when the JASDF units undertook operations in support of evacuees from Iraq and other Middle East countries, according to a report issued by the Defense Agency.

On November 19, Yoshioka Yoshinori of the Japanese Communist Party questioned the government about this at the House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting. He displayed a photo carried by the Defense Agency's PR magazine "Securitarian" November 2002 issue showing ASDF cadets in exercises with desert camouflage fatigues. The latest DA report was made in reply to Yoshioka's question.

At the committee meeting on November 28, Yoshioka denounced the SDF for having kept this change of fatigues secret. This is a serious matter, he said.

Yoshioka then pointed out that SDF units had been sent with the fatigues to the Gulf region on the assumption that they will possibly be involved in combat operations in the desert.

It is quite extraordinary for the agency to carry such photos at a time when a war on Iraq constitutes an international controversy, Yoshioka stressed. (end)