The Tokyo High Court rejected a damages suit Wednesday by a former journalist who claimed his reputation was ruined by an illegal conviction over his reporting on Japan's secret agreement with the U.S. to pay for the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.

Takichi Nishiyama, 76, reported in the Mainichi Shimbun in 1971 that Tokyo secretly agreed with Washington to shoulder $4 million as part of the cost to return Okinawa to Japan.

The political reporter and his source, a female Foreign Ministry secretary, were charged in 1972 with violating the National Public Service Law — Nishiyama for getting her to pass him the classified documents on the reversion negotiations and the secretary for doing it. Nishiyama's conviction was finalized by the Supreme Court in 1978.