Saturday 28th November, 2009
For decades, authorities had denied that nuclear weapons were allowed in Japan.
It now appears the LDP party, while it was in power, had a pact to allow the US to stockpile and transport nuclear weapons on Japanese soil.
Declassified documents have shown that secret deals between Washington and Tokyo took place with regards to the presence of the nuclear weapons.
Since 1960, the government led by the Liberal Democratic Party repeatedly denied that nuclear weapons were ever present in Japan or that any agreement existed to that effect.
The National Security Archives in Washington released declassified telegrams in October, with details of US nuclear weapons policy in Okinawa and other parts of Japan between the 1950s and 1972.
They show that when Japan and the United States renewed their mutual security treaty in 1960, the principle was established that if US ships and planes carried nuclear weapons they could only enter Japanese waters or air space with prior consultation.
In the wake of the two atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese people were strongly opposed to the presence of nuclear weapons on Japanese soil, but in 1972, just before Okinawa was put back under Japanese control, the leaders of both countries agreed that for the defence of countries in the Far East including Japan, in time of great emergency, the United States Government would require the re-entry of nuclear weapons and transit rights in Okinawa.
A secret document signed by the leaders said the Government of Japan would meet the requirements without delay, if suitable prior consultation was made.