The Defense Agency announced disciplinary measures Friday against 52 senior agency officials over the spy scandal involving Shigehiro Hagisaki, a Maritime Self-Defense Force officer arrested last month for allegedly leaking secret military documents to a Russian Embassy official.

Lt. Cmdr. Hagisaki, 38, a researcher at the National Institute of Defense Studies, will be given a dishonorable discharge, while Ken Sato, the agency’s administrative vice minister, and MSDF Chief of Staff Adm. Kosei Fujita will have their salaries cut by 10 percent for one month on grounds of insufficient supervision of a subordinate.

Defense Agency chief Kazuo Torashima is also expected to voluntarily pay back 20 percent of one-month’s salary to the state coffers.

“I really want to apologize to the nation for all the trouble,” Torashima told a new conference, “and I will strive to prevent this from happening again and to recover public trust.”

Hagisaki, arrested Sept. 8 on suspicion of spying for Victor Bogatenkov, a Russian military attache in Tokyo, is scheduled to go on trial before the Tokyo District Court on Nov. 27.

According to an in-house probe conducted by the agency and released Friday, Hagisaki illicitly removed about 170 classified documents from the Defense Agency over a number of years.

But the agency said none of the documents Hagisaki allegedly gave to Bogatenkov involved sensitive materials stamped “kimitsu” (top secret) and “gokuhi” (secret).

The Defense Agency admitted “organizational sloppiness” in the agency’s security system.

The probe found that a number of MSDF officials had failed to stop Hagisaki from making photocopies of classified documents, which violated the SDF’s internal regulations.

It is proposing measures to tighten security, including establishment of a specialized security clearance unit and creation of guidelines on the SDF officers’ contacts with foreign defense attaches based in Tokyo.

The two pieces of classified materials Hagisaki allegedly passed over to Bogatenkov involved the third category of classification — those stamped “hi” (confidential), the agency said.

The classified documents removed by Hagisaki contained only “gokuhi” and “hi” materials, it said.

One of the “hi” documents allegedly given to the Russian attache, a manual on warship fighting tactics, was obtained by Hagisaki in 1995 from a colleague while he was based at the MSDF training school in Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture, the agency said.

The other “hi” document leaked to Bogatenkov — a draft on a new generation of warship command communications — was allegedly copied by Hagisaki from a file he received from a naval staff officer in 1998 when he was temporarily assigned to the MSDF staff office.

Hagisaki also allegedly copied classified documents on Chinese and Russian military affairs, including submarine activities, while based at various MSDF posts in Kyoto and Hiroshima.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.