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Japanese Military Shamed by Portable Storage

Stolen USB drive will do little for military relations with the US

Japan is the latest country reeling from an embarrassing data breach after the theft of a USB drive containing sensitive information on joint military exercises with the U.S.

This is not the first time that Japans military has suffered a high-profile security snafu. Last year, for example, the country’s armed forces hit the headlines after sensitive information concerning the U.S.-built Aegis missile system was discovered on a serviceman’s home PC.

The Aegis incident came at a bad time for Japan, which is attempting to forge closer military ties with the U.S., and resulted in an apology to U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates.

The latest breach has again placed Japan’s military in the spotlight, and is likely to have prompted yet more frustration within the Pentagon.

A lieutenant colonel in Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) based in the country’s Hyogo Prefecture borrowed the drive containing troop deployment maps in February 2007, according to today’s issue of the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

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