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In a revelation that has reignited doubts over civilian control of the Self-Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry’s handling of data, the ministry has said that the existence of controversial activity logs from a mission in Iraq was kept hidden from top officials for more than a year.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told a hastily convened news conference on Wednesday night that the logs in question were discovered by the research headquarters of the GSDF on March 27 last year, despite an earlier claim in the Diet by then-defense chief Tomomi Inada that they didn’t exist.

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