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The government had lied when it said the United States is obliged to hold consultations with Tokyo before U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons make stopovers in Japan or pass through Japanese territory, a late vice foreign minister admitted in an interview for which a researcher claims to have an audiotape.

The government, then led by the Liberal Democratic Party, lied in an attempt to evade grilling by opposition parties, former Vice Foreign Minister Hisanari Yamada said in an interview on Oct. 14, 1981, according to Yoshihisa Hara, a professor at Tokyo International University who held the interview with the now deceased bureaucrat.

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