National

Key aviation official loses computer while sleeping on train

Kyodo

The transport ministry says one of its senior officials lost a bag containing a work computer used and a list of emergency contact information for ministry staff, another embarrassment for the government following a recent massive leak of pension data.

Police are investigating the incident as a case of possible theft, after Akihiko Tamura, director general of the ministry’s Civil Aviation Bureau, lost the bag containing the list and tablet computer on a train on his way home late Friday.

Tamura is in charge of policies including regulations on the use of drones as well as measures to prevent aerial terrorism, the ministry said Sunday. The tablet is supposedly locked with a password.

Tamura put his bag on the overhead rack of the train he took from Tokyo at around 11 p.m. Friday after drinking alcohol, the ministry said. He fell asleep before realizing he missed his stop in Kanagawa Prefecture and the bag was gone.

The government is currently drawing up regulations on the use of drones in public places in response to a series of incidents that have stoked fears that unmanned aircraft could be used for terrorism. In the most serious of these, a drone with a minuscule amount of radiation was found on the roof of the prime minister’s office building in April. A man was arrested for allegedly flying the drone there.

The loss of Tamura’s bag could add to criticism of the government’s management of information.

The transport ministry said it will take steps to prevent a repeat of this kind of incident.

Officials were forced to apologize earlier this month after it was discovered that the Japan Pension Service system had been hacked and more than a million items of personal data had been leaked.