Japan's top government spokesperson says the Cabinet Secretariat's list of recommended guests for an annual state-funded cherry blossom-viewing party has already been disposed of along with the actual guest lists. He says it is not possible to restore the deleted backup data.
The Cabinet Office earlier said it had shredded the guest lists and deleted the digital records soon after the event in line with the regulation that they only need to be kept for less than a year. It also said the backup data had also been deleted after a while and cannot be restored.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday that the secretariat's list of recommended guests, including people named by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was also disposed of soon after the party.
He added that officials of the secretariat say they use the same system managed by the Cabinet Office, so restoring the digital data is impossible.