Defense Agency Director General Gen Nakatani said Thursday that he will relieve two senior officials from their posts for their role in compiling background checks on people requesting information under the information disclosure law.

Among those losing their posts are Director of the Secretariat Kyoji Yanagisawa, Nakatani said at a press conference.

Vice Minister Yasunari Ito offered to resign over the scandal, but Nakatani said he asked him to remain, although he will have his salary cut by 20 percent for two months.

A total of 29 agency officials, including Ito and Yanagisawa, will face punitive measures, such as reprimands or admonitions. Yanagisawa will also have his salary cut, by 10 percent, for two months.

The Defense Agency received harsh criticism after it was learned that its officials, tried to suppress a 40-page report on an in-house investigation into the scandal, which involved agency officials keeping records on people who requested information under the information disclosure law. In accordance with senior ruling coalition lawmakers, the agency instead released a four-page summary of the affair.

The full report, released June 11, indicates there were attempts within the agency to cover up the scandal, a point that was not included in the initially released version.

The confusion involving the announcement of the reports invited harsh criticism from the opposition camp and eventually halted brought the Diet to a halt.

The punitive measures announced Thursday were mainly directed at senior officials, who bear supervisory responsibilities, and for the inappropriate manner in which the reports were released.

The agency determined that a list on information-seekers made by a Maritime Self-Defense Force lieutenant commander violated the law regulating the handling of personal information by government organizations. The list, circulated among 14 officials at the agency and the Self-Defense Forces, included sensitive information on citizens, such as their attitude toward the SDF.

However, the agency concluded that the lists respectively made at the information disclosure offices at the agency and the air and ground self-defense forces pose no legal problems.

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