The Yomiuri Shimbun
April 5, 2007
Top-secret data on Aegis destroyers obtained by a Maritime Self-Defense
Force petty officer 2nd class were found to have been obtained after he
copied obscene images to his hard disk from a colleague's computer,
without knowing the information contained the secret data, police
sources said Wednesday.
The Kanagawa prefectural police also found the secret information was
leaked to another petty officer, meaning the case now involves three
petty officers, including the 33-year-old 2nd class petty officer, who
is a crew member of the destroyer Shirane of Escort Flotilla 1.
Hard disks and computers of each officer were found to have contained
obscene images along with the secret information, the police said.
The police believe that repetitive exchanges of such images triggered
the spread of the secret information.
According to the investigators, the data about Aegis destroyers found on
the 2nd class petty officer's hard disk were copied from the computer of
a crew member of another destroyer. However, further investigation
revealed that another petty officer also copied data that included
information about Aegis ships.
The 2nd class petty officer reportedly told the police that the obscene
images accidentally came with secret data on the ships when he was
copying the images to his computer. He said he found out about the
secret data later.
The computers of the other two petty officers were found to have
contained a large collection of obscene images.
Since the three officers were not authorized to access the data on the
ships, the police and the MSDF Criminal Investigation Unit suspect
senior officers with access to top-secret information also were
The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces issued an order that
prohibits officers from removing professional data and also orders them
to delete secret information from their personal computers, after
internal MSDF information was accidentally uploaded to the Internet last
February through a crew member of a destroyer stationed in Sasebo,
However, the three petty officers questioned did not follow the order,
causing the information leak.
The Aegis data contain information on its radar's capacity to
simultaneously track several targets, as well as images and calculating
formulas for its interceptor system. The data also contain information
deemed "secret" or "unofficially designated secret" under the
Self-Defense Forces Law.
The leaked data also may have included "special defense secrets"
designated by the defense minister based on the Japan-U.S. Mutual
Defense Assistance Agreement.
A spokesman for the Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces in Japan based in
Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, said Wednesday the United States showed
understanding of Japan's investigation on the matter and would like to
cooperate with the probe if needed.
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