The Foreign Ministry on Friday released previously classified records dating from 1953, including a section stating that Japan didn't intend to exercise its primary right of jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel involved in crimes unless cases were deemed of "material importance."

While the existence of such records was previously confirmed by archives in the United States in 2008, it is the first time they have been recognized by Japan. The records were provided to Tokyo by Washington earlier this year.

The documents record negotiations held by the criminal panel of a bilateral commission tasked with revising Article 17 of the Japan-U.S. Administrative Agreement, the predecessor to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.