Japan confirms Cold War-era `secret` pacts with US
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 19:08
  
Tokyo: Japan confirmed for the first time on Tuesday the existence of once-secret Cold War-era pacts with the US that tacitly allowed nuclear-armed warships to enter Japanese ports in violation of Tokyo's postwar principles.

While declassified US documents have already confirmed such 1960s agreements, Tuesday's revelation broke with decades of official denials.

The investigation by a government-mandated panel is part of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's campaign to rein in the power of bureaucrats and make his government, which was elected to power last year, more open than that of the long-ruling conservatives, who repeatedly denied the existence of such pacts.

"It's regrettable that such facts were not disclosed to the public for such a long time, even after the end of the Cold War era," Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told a news conference, adding that the investigation was meant to restore public trust in Japan's diplomacy.

The panel examined documents surrounding four pacts, including Tokyo's tacit permission that US nuclear-armed warships could make calls at Japanese ports, a violation of Japan's so-called three non-nuclear principles not to make, own or allow the entry of atomic weapons.

There is strong aversion to nuclear weapons in Japan, the only country to suffer atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 19:08


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