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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 4 - 10  > Gov't found to have failed to control SDF
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2018 April 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Gov't found to have failed to control SDF

April 6, 2018
Daily logs of GSDF in Iraq

The daily activity reports kept by Ground Self-Defense Force units in Iraq which the government previously claimed, "They no longer exist," were supposedly discovered recently. However, the GSDF already knew of the existence of the Iraq reports in March 2017. Nevertheless, the GSDF neglected to report this to then Defense Minister Inada Tomomi.

It was in January this year when the Ministry of Defense learned that the GSDF has the documents. Three months after that, the present Defense Minister was finally informed of this fact.

On April 5, Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori at an Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting said, "Why is it that the SDF hasn't reported this for a year? It's very regrettable."

Japanese Communist Party Inoue Satoshi in response said point-blank, "The government lacks the capability to control the Self-Defense Forces."

About 14,000 pages of daily journals recording the GSDF mission in Iraq between 2004 and 2006 have been stored by the Ground Staff Office medical department and the Ground Research and Development Command. Up to today, the government had responded, "Non-existent," to questions from opposition parties on the presence of daily reports from GSDF units in Iraq.

Daily logs of GSDF in South Sudan

Former Defense Minister Inada had said, “The GSDF destroyed the daily reports in South Soudan.” However, they were discovered later so the presence or absence of a cover-up of these discovered-daily reports was a topic of controversy in the Diet last year.

Inada, in an attempt to explain away her previous response, said that they were discovered "as personal materials" of GSDF personnel who had been engaged in the PKO mission in South Sudan. (Feb.7, 2017)

After this explanation, JCP member of the Lower House Kasai Akira suggested that the data may be placed into databases of the education/training center of the Ground Research and Development Command. (Feb.14, 2017) Then, he demanded that the government look for the reports once again in the database.

On the following day, Inada reportedly met with the Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense and the GSDF Chief of Staff and the three confirmed the fact that the GSDF itself maintains the data. At the same time, however, it was also reported that they decided not to make this fact publicly known.

Then, the Defense Minister insisted on the "destroyed" assertion, and the government tried to bring this issue to a close with the resignation of Defense Minister Inada.

Inconvenient truth

Why were both the reports from Iraq and that from South Sudan hidden? The answer is that these data include an inconvenient truth.

In Iraq, the war on terrorism was continuing when the GSDF was dispatched. However, the government claimed in response to Diet questions that the GSDF in Iraq are in "non-combat areas". In contrast to this answer, a few dozen GSDF members became emotionally destabilized and committed suicide after returning from Iraq. It is possibly described in the lately-found daily activity logs that Iraq was in a state of war, shells had landed on the GSDF camp, and GSDF personnel were on the verge of responding with weapons.

As for South Sudan as well, the government in the Diet repeatedly answered that "no combat has taken place", but the daily reports show that "combat" is not only occurring in the South Sudanese capital of Juba but also spreading throughout South Sudan.

The overseas dispatch of Japanese forces to combat areas abroad is unconstitutional in light of Article 9 of the Constitution. This is the reason behind why the cover-ups took place.

Past related articles:
> Closing the curtain on SDF data cover-up scandal with DM’s resignation unacceptable [July 29, 2017]
> GSDF concealed daily reports on South Sudan PKO [March 17, 2017]
> 26 SDF members killed themselves after returning from Iraq [March 21, 2013]

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