Following through on a pledged investigation into “secret agreements” made by the previous government, Japan today issued a report revealing that the Liberal Democratic Party governments violated the nation’s official bans and allowed the United States to transport and even store nuclear weapons on Japanese soil.
Not long after taking power last year, the Democratic Party of Japan revealed that they had found documents proving that their predecessors had signed secret deals with the United States as early as 1960 regarding nuclear weapons. The announcement came with the pledge of a full report.
Rumors of the deal, a flagrant violation of Japan’s non-nuclear stance since it was attacked with nuclear weapons in 1945, have been long-standing, but the LDP governments had repeatedly denied that any such deal existed. It is unclear what, if any, legal ramifications those who were in power at the time might face, but the current government is likely to gain big from uncovering it.
The US State Department downplayed the possibility that it might have any impact on US-Japan relations, saying they had lived up to their end of the treaties. This does appear to be the case, though they had to know at the time that the treaties were illegal under Japanese law. The Pentagon, for its part, refused to comment at all, saying that they don’t discuss specific nuclear weapons movements.