Japan's Defense Ministry to speed up probe into alleged resale of SDF vehicles

Japan's Defense Ministry will speed up its probe into an allegation that retired Self-Defense Force high mobility vehicles have been used overseas instead of being scrapped.

When the SDF disposes of old tanks and vehicles, it asks contractors to dismantle them so they will not be disguised as SDF vehicles.

The ministry launched the investigation in April after it was pointed out on the Internet that vehicles resembling SDF high mobility vehicles were being used overseas.

Defense Minister Kihara Minoru told reporters on Tuesday that the ministry is checking documents and conducting interviews concerning about 40 companies.

Kihara said his ministry will quickly compile its findings and come up with measures to prevent the resale of such vehicles.

Kihara also indicated that the ministry will launch a probe overseas ahead of the original plan of next fiscal year in response to reports that SDF high mobility vehicles had been sold to Southeast Asian countries.