Iraq war logs: Where were the records, and why were SDF troops in harm's way?

In February last year, Japan's Defence Ministry denied the existence of ground activity logs for its Self-Defence Forces (SDF) troops who were deployed to Iraq for peacekeeping operations from 2004 to 2006.

This denial by then defence chief Tomomi Inada, who was Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's protege, came at the height of a separate scandal to do with the once-missing-but-later-found logs for a South Sudan deployment - raising suspicions that the ministry was hiding something. She resigned.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 22, 2018, with the headline 'IRAQ WAR LOGS: Where were the records, and why were SDF troops in harm's way?'. Print Edition | Subscribe