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Special inspection could extend to defense chief Inada: Suga

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada (Mainichi)

Japan's top government spokesman on July 20 suggested that Defense Minister Tomomi Inada could be subject to a special inspection regarding logs of Japanese peacekeepers in South Sudan that the ministry initially denied existed.

Under the current system, Inada would not be subject to the special defense inspection, but in a July 20 news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated, "If there was a request from the Inspector General's Office of Legal Compliance, those with the three highest ranks in the Ministry of Defense would cooperate." The top three ranks in the ministry are minister of defense, state minister of defense, and parliamentary vice minister of defense.

Regarding reports that Inada gave the nod to concealing the fact that the logs existed at the Ground Self-Defense Force even though the ministry said they had been discarded, Suga stated, "It is very important that a probe is conducted concerning the facts over what has been reported."

On the morning of July 20, Inada told reporters at the Ministry of Defense that work relating to the special defense inspection was moving forward as quickly as possible.

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