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Investigation panel confirms three secret Japan-U.S. agreements

Kyodo News

A government panel has confirmed the existence of three secret Japan-U.S. pacts involving the 1960 revision of the bilateral security treaty and the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japan, government sources said Tuesday.

It has long been suspected there are four secret pacts.

The pacts that have been confirmed involve Japan’s agreement to allow stopovers and passage of U.S. craft carrying nuclear weapons, use of U.S. military bases in the event of a crisis on the Korean Peninsula, and allowing the U.S. to bring nuclear weapons into Okinawa in times of emergency.

The unconfirmed pact reportedly involves Japan’s sharing the cost of the reversion of Okinawa.

The panel, led by Shinichi Kitaoka, a professor at the University of Tokyo, plans to file a report on its investigations with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada by the end of January.

Panel members have examined a Foreign Ministry in-house report on the secret pacts and conducted a series of interviews with retired ministry officials, the sources said.

In the course of the investigation, the panel found minutes for talks between Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur that confirm the existence of a secret pact on the use of U.S. military bases in Japan in the event of fighting on the Korean Peninsula without holding prior consultations with Japan.

A Foreign Ministry panel found what appears to be a draft document suggesting that Japan agreed to exempt stopovers at Japanese ports or passage through Japanese territorial waters by nuclear-armed U.S. warships from a list of matters for prior consultation.

The government panel decided the document substantiates the existence of such a secret pact, according to the sources.