English text of Japanese-US secret nuke pact revealed
July 12, 2009 – (Kyodo News)
Kono wants denials to end on U.S. accord
The Foreign Ministry kept the English-language version of a 1960 secret accord with Washington that covers the handling of U.S. nuclear weapons in Japan, an unnamed former senior ministry official said Saturday.
|Secret pact?: Ex-Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and U.S. Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II are said to have signed a secret nuclear pact in 1960. KYODO PHOTO|
Japan has maintained there is no such pact, but Taro Kono, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said Friday he intends to demand the government admit its existence and said a probe is in the works.
The document had been placed under the strict supervision at the North American Affairs Bureau and Treaties Bureau, which is now the International Legal Affairs Bureau, said the former director general of the Treaties Bureau, who declined to be named. He also suggested the document may have been destroyed because of the 2001 disclosure law.
This is the first revelation of the existence at the ministry of the English-version of the bilateral pact signed on Jan. 6, 1960, by then Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II.
Former Vice Foreign Minister Ryohei Murata has already confirmed the existence of a Japanese-version of the document at the ministry.
Murata broke his silence when he told media organizations late last month that it was a “secret duty” of vice ministers to inform foreign ministers of the accord.
Under the deal, which the two countries agreed on in revising the Japan-U.S. security treaty in 1960, Tokyo grants tacit approval for U.S. military aircraft and vessels carrying nuclear weapons to stop in Japan, although the treaty stipulates the need for Washington to hold prior consultations with Tokyo before such arms come into the country.
Murata served in the Foreign Ministry’s top bureaucratic post from 1987 to 1989.
U.S. diplomatic documents declassified in the late 1990s substantiate the existence of the pact. However, Japan has denied the agreement exists.
The government upholds the “three nonnuclear principles” of not possessing, producing or allowing atomic weapons on its territory.
According to the unnamed ex-official, the ministry has possession of volumes of documents related to the secret bilateral nuclear pact, and the Treaties Bureau has a list of the documents on file.
He also heard the ministry started destroying documents pertaining to nuclear-related secrets before the information disclosure law was enacted in April 2001.
Kono, of the Liberal Democratic Party, demanded the state come clean after meeting Murata Friday in Kyoto.
“I have judged from the testimony of Mr. Murata that there was a secret accord,” Kono said. “The Foreign Affairs Committee will not tolerate the government repeating that there was no secret deal.”
Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone has said: “There was no secret accord. We do not intend to probe this again.”