TOKYO -- More than a year's worth of daily reports from Self-Defense Force (SDF) peacekeepers in South Sudan have been discovered at Japan's Defense Intelligence Headquarters (DIH), Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revealed at an April 9 House of Councillors Audit Committee meeting.
The newly found reports from the SDF units that had been deployed to the South Sudanese capital of Juba included those from July 7 to 11, 2016, that use the term "combat" to describe clashes between rival factions in the city.
A special internal investigation was conducted from March to July last year to track down all the South Sudan peacekeeping mission reports, which the Defense Ministry said had been disposed of and were thus no longer available. The 2017 investigation apparently did not turn up the documents at the DIH.
The Defense Ministry is conducting a renewed search for daily reports from the SDF's overseas deployments after the recent discovery of logs from the forces' mission to Iraq, which the ministry had also initially claimed were not extant.
(Japanese original by Shinichi Akiyama, Political News Department)