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Nakatani responsible for lists of info-seekers, Fukuda says.

TOKYO, June 4 Kyodo

Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani is responsible for the agency's compiling of lists of individuals who requested information from the agency under the information-disclosure law, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Tuesday.

''As he is the top superintendent of the agency, I cannot say he is not responsible for it,'' Fukuda told a press conference.

Nakatani and Defense Agency Vice Minister Yasunari Ito admitted Monday that the agency's bureaus and Air Staff and Ground Staff offices, in addition to the Maritime Staff Office, compiled such lists, which were entered on the agency's local area network system where any agency staff member was able to view them.

The agency had said earlier that an in-house investigation showed that an officer had made such a list containing data on information-seekers, including their names and addresses, ''for his own use.''

''I have to say that the agency paid little attention to the importance of personal information if everybody could access it,'' Fukuda said.

Nakatani told a separate press conference the agency will conduct another in-house investigation and announce the results and punishment of those involved early next week.

''I am still obliged to investigate the case so that I can explain to the public what happened,'' Nakatani said.

Concerning the responsibility of the agency's senior officials, including Ito, he said, ''It is premature to talk about it. I will take appropriate steps following the investigation.''

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ordered Ito on Tuesday morning to fully investigate the case.

Nakatani and Ito apologized for the scandal at a meeting of members of defense-related committees of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Some of the LDP members said the executive office of the party and the government should take responsibility if national emergency bills are scrapped or carried over to the next session because of the scandal.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jun 10, 2002
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