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Japan Defense Ministry faces renewed scandal over SDF logs

Minister kept in the dark for over a year about existence of records from Iraq

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, center, listens to a lawmaker's question at a foreign policy and defense committee meeting in the upper house of the Diet on April 6. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- The Japanese Defense Ministry is facing accusations that it intentionally hid activity logs of troops deployed to Iraq from 2004 through 2006, after admitting it had found the documents it previously claimed were destroyed.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revealed Thursday that a department within the Ground Self-Defense Force had located the document on March 27, 2017, but failed to tell the ministry's civilian leadership. The SDF Joint Chiefs were notified this February. Onodera was told only Saturday, more than a year after the document was found.

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