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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 24 - 30  > Ex-PM confesses he knew about secret nuclear weapons agreement
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2012 October 24 - 30 [US FORCES]

Ex-PM confesses he knew about secret nuclear weapons agreement

October 29, 2012
Former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, 94, has recently testified that he knew of the existence of a secret Japan-U.S. agreement allowing U.S. nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan as soon as he became the director general of the defense agency in 1970.

This is the first testimony by a person who was given an explanation of the agreement by state bureaucrats.

According to documents declassified by the foreign ministry in 2010, ministry officials had shared the contents of the secret pact with successive prime and foreign ministers.

Nakasone was also informed about the agreement as he assumed the office of prime minister in January 1983. However, at this testimony he confessed that he had learned about it more than 40 years ago.

In an interview in his latest book, the former prime minister stated, “It can be said that I knew of the existence of the agreement when I became director general of the defense agency. I probably heard about it from government officials.”

The secret agreement states that “prior consultation” is unnecessary for U.S. military vessels and aircraft to bring nuclear weapons into Japan though the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty requires the U.S. to confer with its counterpart in advance when it significantly changes its military equipment or weapons being brought into Japan. The agreement was concluded as the “Record of Discussion” between then Japan’s foreign minister Fujiyama Aiichiro and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was revised in 1960.

In the Diet in 2000, then Japanese Communist Party Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo revealed the existence of the agreement for the first time.

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