Ex-MSDF Captain Who Leaked Secrets Likely to Escape Indictment

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Yokosuka Base is seen in May 2017.

A former Maritime Self-Defense Force captain who was referred to prosecutors for allegedly leaking national security secrets is not expected to be indicted, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Takashi Inoue, 55, was dismissed from the MSDF after allegedly leaking classified information in violation of the Law on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets and the Self-Defense Forces Law.

However, prosecutors have judged it difficult to prove that the information Inoue allegedly leaked constitutes secrets under the law, so the former MSDF captain is likely to escape indictment, according to sources.

On March 19, 2020, Inoue, then commander of the predecessor of the Fleet Intelligence Command, revealed classified information during a conversation at an MSDF office in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, with a retired vice admiral who had served as commander of the Self-Defense Fleet.

Inoue is also alleged to have leaked secret information about SDF operations to the retired vice admiral.

The SDF’s law enforcement agency, Criminal Investigation Command, referred Inoue to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office in December on suspicion of violating the specially designated secrets law and the SDF law.

Prosecutors conducted interviews during their investigation and have determined it would be difficult to prove the information leak violated the law because the secrets were revealed in an oral exchange.

Inoue admitted that he leaked classified information in a Defense Ministry probe. Inoue reportedly told investigators, “I was in awe of the former commander … I wanted to give him a clear explanation [about a matter] because he had held a high position.”