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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 10 - 16  > Coffins for SDF personnel readied for overseas missions: Defense Minister
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2015 June 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Coffins for SDF personnel readied for overseas missions: Defense Minister

June 13, 2015
Defense Minister Nakatani Gen on June 12 at a meeting of the House of Representatives Special Committee on the war legislation admitted for the first time that the ministry is preparing for the transportation of bodies in coffins in case of fatalities in Self-Defense Forces overseas missions.

In response to a question by a Japan Innovation Party lawmaker, Nakatani said that the ministry is making all the preparations to properly deal with the possible deaths of SDF personnel deployed abroad under the proposed war legislation.

When the SDF was dispatched to Iraq after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the then Defense Agency drew up a plan for transportation of bodies in anticipation of fatalities.

A former top official of the Defense Ministry in April last year on a TV program said that during the mission in Iraq, the ministry considered the procedures to be taken in bringing bodies back home and holding state funerals. He, who served as the Chief of Staff of the SDF Joint Staff Office, also said that the SDF camp in Iraq had nearly ten coffins. He added that the ministry kept this confidential.
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