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Is Japan ready for a real crisis? Cover-up scandal reveals risks

Culture of hiding inconvenient information could hamper decision making

Tomomi Inada confirmed her departure as Japan's defense minister Friday.

TOKYO -- North Korea has tested yet another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). While the rest of the world nervously watched North Korea over the past two days, Japan was rocked by an ugly cover-up scandal that raised doubts about the readiness of the nation's defense apparatus to handle a real crisis.

Tomomi Inada told reporters Friday that she was stepping down as defense minister over the allegations of misleading the public about activity records kept by troops on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. She also said that a special investigation into the incident had revealed a deliberate attempt to hide the documents.

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