• Kyodo

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Police on Monday arrested four people, including a former Maritime Self-Defense Force official, on suspicion of attempting to blackmail Fujitsu Ltd. into buying back leaked computerized data on the Self-Defense Forces.

Kanagawa Prefectural Police identified those arrested as Shigeharu Oku, 54, a former MSDF official in Okinawa Prefecture; Masaaki Komatsu, 57, an interior decoration company executive in Tokyo; Nobuhisa Akino, 54, an executive of a Tokyo company dealing in health food; and Takahisa Kishikawa, 32, a computer programmer.

The four people allegedly tried to blackmail Fujitsu into buying back the leaked data on several occasions from late June to early July, police said.

The leak involved Internet Protocol addresses on a computer network linking the Ground Self-Defense Force, the Air Self-Defense Force and local SDF units, as well as its system design.

It is believed the programmer, a Fujitsu subcontractor who developed the network system, kept the data on his personal computer, printed them out and handed out copies to Komatsu and others.

Fujitsu filed a complaint with police against three of them, excluding the programmer, in August, accusing them of attempted extortion.

The four have told reporters they only wanted to alert the company about inadequate supervision, insisting they never urged Fujitsu to buy the data.

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