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Japan decided in the 1970s to set narrow territorial limits on five key straits to allow passage of U.S. warships carrying nuclear weapons, a former envoy who represented Japan at U.N. talks on international maritime law said in a recent interview.

Some of the U.S. submarines that passed through Japanese territorial waters or called at Japanese ports during the Cold War were carrying nuclear weapons, said Shigeru Oda, who represented Japan during talks on the U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea. Oda said the decision to let them pass was a political one.

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