`Japan PM knew of secret nuke pact in 1960 treaty talks`

Last Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 15:09

Tokyo: Erstwhile Prime Minister Nobusuke
Kishi and Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama were aware of a
diplomatic record to allow US nuclear-armed vessels to
enter Japanese ports without prior consultation amounted to a
secret agreement, when they negotiating the revised Japan-US
security treaty in 1960, US document showed.

Akira Kurosaki, associate professor of international
politics at Fukushima University, found the document at the US
National Archives. It is the first time such a document has
been found.

The Confidential Record of Discussion, forged by Fujiyama
and the US side, had a clause reflecting the US preference for
excluding transits and port calls by US vessels carrying
nuclear weapons from requiring prior consultation under the
security treaty.

The newly found document -- a confidential letter
exchanged between US officials in Tokyo and Washington in 1963
-- states Kishi and Fujiyama "clearly understood" the meaning
of the document, challenging a recent conclusion reached by a
panel of experts commissioned by the Japanese Foreign
Ministry.

In a report on secret nuclear pacts released in March,
the panel stopped short of acknowledging the Confidential
Record of Discussion as direct evidence of a secret agreement.

The panel concluded that, at the time of revising the
security treaty, Japan and the United States "intentionally"
avoided pursuing whether the entry of US vessels into Japanese
ports would be subject to prior consultation so as not to
disrupt their alliance.

Such a tacit agreement, or "secret pact in a broad
sense," became fixed after US Ambassador to Japan Edwin
Reischauer told Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira in 1963 that
Washington did not consider the port calls as subject to prior
consultation.

But the newly found document contradicts the panel`s
conclusion.

In a letter dated March 15, 1963, Earle Richey, first
secretary of the US Embassy in Tokyo, told Robert Fearey,
officer in charge of Japanese affairs at the US State
Department`s Office of East Asian Affairs, that "the meaning
of paragraph 2c. of the Confidential Record of Discussion was
clearly understood by Kishi and Fujiyama at the time of the
Treaty negotiations," quoting Fearey`s statement in his letter
of February 12, 1962.

Paragraph 2c stipulated that existing procedures
concerning transits and port calls by US vessels and aircraft
-- which had been in place before the treaty revision -- would
be excluded from prior consultation requirements.

PTI




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