Japan, U.S. have secret nuke deal: report
Japan and the United States had a secret deal to tacitly allow U.S. forces to bring nuclear weapons into the nation, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
Ryohei Murata, a former Foreign Ministry administrative vice minister, told the newspaper that Japanese and U.S. governments have had a secret accord whereby Japan would tacitly approve port calls and passage through Japanese territorial waters by U.S. warships carrying nuclear weapons.
Murata, 79, who served in the position from July 1987 to August 1989, said the accord was reached in 1960, when the two countries renewed the bilateral security treaty.
Although the Japanese government has continued to officially deny the existence of such an accord, the latest revelation marks the first time a former administrative vice foreign minister has gone on record as saying such a deal has existed.
During the negotiations over the bilateral treaty, Japan and the United States agreed to discuss in advance if U.S. forces would be bringing nuclear weapons into Japanese territory as a matter of "important changes in equipment."
But the two governments are believed to have agreed to a secret accord so that U.S. warships' port calls and passage through Japanese territorial waters would be exempt from prior consultation in the event of a military emergency in the Far East.
Speaking with the Yomiuri, Murata said "My predecessor told me to convey the contents (of the secret accord) to a minister in my capacity as the administrative vice minister."
Murata said he discussed the contents with the foreign minister at the time.
However, Japanese foreign minister Hirofumi Nakasone denied the existence of such a secret accord on June 10, saying prime ministers and foreign ministers in the past clearly denied the existence of such a secret accord.