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Existence of tacit Japan-US agreement confirmed

Posted by Junichi Kawagoe on 10.2010 News Out of English Newspaper   0 comments   0 trackback
A Japanese government panel has concluded that several secret agreements on nuclear arms and other issues were reached between Japan and the United States during the Cold War.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada disclosed the report on the alleged secret pacts along with related documents found in the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

The panel has been investigating allegations of secret Japan-US agreements related to the Japan-US security treaty revisal in 1960 and the Okinawa reversion negotiations in 1972.

It now concludes that behind the treaty revisal, the 2 governments had an unspoken agreement for US nuclear-armed ships to make port calls in Japan.

While such pacts have already been exposed through US declassified documents and other sources, previous administrations led by the Liberal Democratic Party consistently denied the existence of any secret deals.

The most contentious agreement was said to allow US nuclear-armed ships to make stopovers and pass through Japanese territory without prior consultation.

This would violate Japan's 3 non-nuclear policies such as banning the entry of nuclear weapons into its territory.

The report says that a newly-disclosed document shows there was an interpretation gap between the 2 countries on the issue of prior consultation.

The US understood that temporary port calls and passages were not subject to consultation while Japan thought they were included.

It says even after the gap in the interpretation was acknowledged, the Japanese government continued to say that no nuclear weapons were being brought into Japan as long as the US offered no prior consultation.
The US government did not object to this explanation.

The panel report points out that the international situation amid the Cold War and the Japanese anti-nuclear sentiment led the allies to leave the issue alone.

The panel reported that a secret pact permitting the US to bring back nuclear arms into Okinawa in cases of emergencies did not necessarily exist.

A top secret document signed in 1969 by then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and US President Richard Nixon upon the prefecture's reversion was found in Sato's relative's house.

But the report says the agreement is not effective, since Sato had kept the document to himself and no trace of transition to following administrations was found.

The panel report says some documents could not be found or lacked information and may have possibly been destroyed.

The report calls for an improvement in the structure of the foreign ministry. It also says that diplomatic documents in the national achieves should, in principle, be made public after a period of 30 years.

2010/03/09 17:18(JST)
(JST: UTC+9hrs.)
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