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Defense Agency list forwarded by e-mail to another official.

TOKYO, May 30 Kyodo

The contents of a Defense Agency list allegedly including personal data about civilians who requested information disclosure was forwarded by e-mail to another commander at the agency, the agency said Thursday.

The revelation brings the total number of officers who had access to the information to eight, according to the agency.

A 48-year-old lieutenant commander allegedly compiled the list of personal information about 141 civilians who requested access to information in line with the information disclosure law, filed it on a floppy disk and submitted it to a commander last November, the agency said.

The commander then forwarded the contents via e-mail to another commander, according to the agency.

The Defense Agency has drawn fire because the list apparently included political views and medical histories of the civilians.

Although the agency has been denying it was systematically involved, the latest revelation shows there was secondary use of the information on the list and increases suspicion that there was systematic involvement by the agency in the case.

The commander who received the floppy disk kept it until March this year and then got rid of it, while the commander who received the e-mail deleted it straight away, according to the agency.

Commenting on the fact that the information was e-mailed among officers in the agency, Kyoji Yanagisawa, chief of the agency's secretariat, said, ''I think he (the commander) sent it (the information) by mail thinking it might be of use. We are investigating his motive.''

The agency has been conducting in-house investigations since the existence of the list came to light on Tuesday.

But prior to Yanagisawa's press conference earlier in the day, the agency had mistakenly announced that eight officers directly received the list from the lieutenant commander, but then the number changed several times during the press conference.

The agency is still investigating the case and plans to compile a report as early as next week, and to also announce punishments for the officers concerned.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jun 3, 2002
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