March 9, 2008
In what appears to be its latest example of lax information management,
the Maritime Self-Defense Force has discovered defense documents and
file-sharing software on the private computers of a 34-year-old
lieutenant, sources familiar with the matter said.
The MSDF is attempting to determine whether the data include
confidential files, they said.
The officer was found in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, on Wednesday after
fleeing following questioning on Feb. 23 about a leak of classified
information by the MSDF, including data on the Aegis air-defense system
used on U.S. and Japanese destroyers.
The officer, who is assigned to the MSDF's Maizuru headquarters, began
storing data on his computers about 10 years ago and added information
from a number of units he was assigned to, the sources said.
He also apparently failed to obey recent directives from the Defense
Ministry to delete sensitive data and file-sharing software from private
computers, they said.
The officer had five to six computers at home, including one with
file-sharing software installed and at least one other containing the
defense data, they said.
He was previously found to have stored confidential defense data that
apparently contained information on the Aegis system, they said.
The Aegis data leak, which came to light in January 2004, resulted in
the indictment of MSDF Lt. Commander Sumitaka Matsuuchi, 34, on a charge
of violating the Law Concerning the Protection of Secrets for the
Japan-U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance.
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