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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 7 - 13  > Akahata report on bringing-in of US nuclear weapons to Okinawa attracts attention
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2018 March 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Akahata report on bringing-in of US nuclear weapons to Okinawa attracts attention

March 7, 2018
An Akahata article concerning remarks made by a Japanese Foreign Ministry high-ranking official in regard to the bringing-in of U.S. nuclear weapons to Okinawa has drawn attention from Okinawa’s local papers as well as from other news sources.

The daily Akahata on March 5 published an exclusive report that in 2009, at a meeting of the U.S. congressional commission established for the Nuclear Posture Review, then Japanese Embassy’s Political Counselor Akiba Takeo (currently Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs) remarked that he found a U.S. proposal to construct a nuclear storage facility in Okinawa “persuasive”.

Following Akahata’s scoop, Okinawa’s two major dailies, the Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo, carried this story on their front pages. In addition, Ryukyu Shimpo in its editorial pointed out that the construction of a nuclear arsenal storage facility would lead to the exclusion of Okinawa from Japan’s Three Non-Nuclear Principles and the exposure of Okinawans to a new danger. The local daily expressed its strong opposition to the possibility of the re-entry of U.S. nuclear weapons into Okinawa.

Kyodo News and the Tokyo Shimbun also on the same day quoted the Akahata report in their articles.

Earlier on the day at a press conference held after the Cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Kono Taro said that in response to his inquiry, Akiba answered that in the 2009 meeting, he explained Japan’s position regarding the U.S. nuclear policies, but that he did not make the remarks as reported by Akahata.

Kono also said that while standing firm on the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, the Cabinet will approve an exception to these principles in the event of an emergency.

Past related articles:
> Japan’s high-ranking diplomat agreed to US proposal on nuclear facility construction in Okinawa [March 5, 2017]
> Gov’t must abolish ‘secret agreement’ with US over bringing-in of nuclear weapons to Japan [May 12, 2016]
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