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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 14 - 20  > Ex-US official: the memo on N-deployment in Okinawa is genuine
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2018 March 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Ex-US official: the memo on N-deployment in Okinawa is genuine

March 15, 2018
An Akahata report (Mar.5) about the U.S. official memorandum dated February 27, 2009, which states that the sitting Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs when he was the Counselor to the United States showed Japan's willingness to accept the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons to Okinawa, has shocked Okinawans and the administrative bodies of the government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, soon after the Akahata report, negated the counselor's comment. However, Morton Halperin, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, who had actually received the memo said in an Akahata interview on March 15, "The memo is genuine and was drafted by responsible staff. The contents are accurate."

With this testimony, it has become impossible for the Japanese government to label the memo as an "anonymous document". After the revelation of the U.S. official memorandum, Foreign Minister Kono Taro said that he talked with the then Counselor Akiba Takeo and found that Akiba had not made such a statement, but a dishonest reaction like this will no longer work. The need now is to conduct interviews with Akiba and three other officials of the Japanese Embassy who were present at hearings conducted by the U.S. in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

Any deployment of nuclear weapons to Japan clearly violates the country's national credo and its basic principles of diplomacy referred to as the "Three Nonnuclear Principles". If the remark supportive of the N-deployment was made by Akiba, his qualification as a diplomat should be called into question. Or, if the remark was made with the consent of the government at that time, this revelation is much more serious.

Astonishing statements in addition to Akiba's favorable response to a nuclear storage site in Okinawa were also noted in the memorandum: "On the question of whether the U.S. ought to maintain its TLAM-N and ALCM capability, Counselor Akiba stated that if the U.S. were to consider eliminating these capabilities, Japan would like to be consulted well in advance on how the loss of this capability would be offset," and "low-yield earth-penetrating weapons would strengthen the credibility of extended deterrence." Can FM Kono still brush aside all the remarks noted in the memorandum?

The media in 2009 reported on these remarks, and the issue was often discussed in the Diet at that time. Yet, the Foreign Ministry keeps declining to comment on details.

Along with the Feb. 27/2009 note, Akahata (Mar.4) reported on another U.S. memo dated Feb. 25/2009 which states that Akiba opposed reductions of U.S. nuclear weapons and requested more credible nuclear warheads. Some media are following the Akahata report. Circumstantial evidence that proves Japanese officials repeatedly made statements in breach of Japan's Three Nonnuclear Principles has been brought to light. The government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be held accountable and forced to reveal all the details to the general public.

Past related articles:
> Japan’s high-ranking diplomat agreed to US proposal on nuclear facility construction in Okinawa [March 5, 2018]
> Japan expected Obama administration to maintain and enhance US nuclear capability [March 4, 2018]
> Former US senior gov’t official: secret nuclear pacts on Okinawa are still valid [September 22, 2014]
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