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Leakage of secret documents

June 30, 2012


Govt: 6 classified documents leaked



A farm ministry internal investigation team on Friday confirmed six classified government documents have been leaked and indicated a former senior vice minister was "highly likely" to have been involved in the leakage.

Li Chunguang, a 45-year-old first secretary at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, is suspected of having obtained the classified documents about a program to export agricultural products to China.

Regarding how the documents were leaked, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry's investigation team said former Senior Vice Minister Nobutaka Tsutsui is suspected of being involved.

However, the team said it has not been able to confirm his involvement.

Tsukasa Iwamoto, a senior vice minister who heads the investigation team, said leakage of four documents classified as "Level 3," the highest confidentiality level, and two official telegrams were confirmed.

After the media reported the leaks, the investigation team questioned the head of the Promotion Association of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Foods Exporting to China, who used to be a state-funded secretary to a House of Representatives member. He admitted to having obtained the documents in question.

The association runs a program to export agricultural products to China.

Of the documents, one Level 3 document described the future prospects of domestic rice supply and demand that was deeply affected by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Copies of the document, which was drawn up for Tsutsui, were distributed to just seven people, including Tsutsui and senior officials of the ministry's Management Improvement Bureau, Iwamoto said.

However, five of the officials, excluding Tsutsui and his then private secretary, had no contact with the head of the association.

According to Iwamoto, Tsutsui is the only person who has received all four Level 3 documents, but he was quoted as saying that he never showed the documents to any outsider.

Meanwhile, right after the farm ministry received two official telegrams from the Foreign Ministry on March 15, Tsutsui's secretary sent them by fax from Tsutsui's office at the ministry to his office in the Diet members' office building under instructions from Tsutsui, Iwamoto said.

However, Tsutsui was quoted as saying he did not remember giving them to the association's head.

The head also said he did not remember from whom he received the documents, Iwamoto said.

As the head shredded the ministry's documents including the six classified ones before questioning, the investigation team was not able to say Tsutsui was involved in the leakage, he said.

Iwamoto also said the team also failed to confirm whether Li gained knowledge of the contents of the documents.

Police have sent papers on Li to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of violating the Alien Registration Law.

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