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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 December 22 - 2011 January 4  > Japan supported US nuclear training in Okinawa
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2010 December 22 - 2011 January 4 [US FORCES]

Japan supported US nuclear training in Okinawa

December 23, 2010
The Japanese government in the 1970s approved the U.S. forces’ dropping of mock nuclear weapons on Okinawa when its demand for cancellation of such training was rejected by the U.S. side. This was revealed by diplomatic documents that the Foreign Ministry recently made public.

On March 7, 1972, Japanese Communist Party Dietmember Fuwa Tetsuzo, at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, demanded that the government urge the U.S. forces to stop dropping mock nuclear weapons on Iejima Island in Okinawa. In response to Fuwa, Foreign Minister Fukuda Takeo expressed his intention to have the training cancelled with the return of Okinawa to Japan on May 15, 1972.

According to the declassified document, a Foreign Ministry official on March 10 explained to U.S. embassy staff Fuwa’s demands in the Diet and called for the training to be cancelled.

The Ministry on April 15 received the response from the U.S. side, rejecting its request and expressing its intention to continue the dropping of mock nuclear weapons on Okinawa even after the return of the islands to Japan.

The Japanese government’s stance changed after that. At the April 28 Upper House Budget Committee meeting, in response to JCP representative Iwama Masao’s questioning, Defense Agency Director Ezaki Masumi stated, “It is a matter of course for a nuclear weapon state to carry out nuclear-related training.”
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