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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 28 - April 3  > JCP Kokuta reveals defense papers outlining joint use by SDF of US bases in Okinawa
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2018 March 28 - April 3 [POLITICS]

JCP Kokuta reveals defense papers outlining joint use by SDF of US bases in Okinawa

April 3, 2018
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kokuta Keiji at a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on March 30 revealed Defense Ministry internal documents he obtained.

The papers dated July 2012 were drafted by the ministry's Joint Staff Office, focusing on Japan- U.S. "dynamic defense cooperation" and on a plan for shared use of U.S. bases in Okinawa.

The JCP already has the materials of the same title that were disclosed last year through access to information procedures. Kokuta compared these data with the original documents he presented to the committee meeting. Then, he found that pages on "the schedule" and "the process of deliberations" for the joint use plan are missing from the previously disclosed documents. Kokuta said, "Isn't this a falsification of official documents?"

A few days after this committee meeting, Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori announced, "The ministry recently found two other records of the same title."

This time, pages explaining "the schedule" and "the process of deliberations" for the joint use plan exist in the two documents as in the original copies. However, many passages are blacked out.

Asked by the press about the difference in the official documents, Onodera answered, "I'd like to withhold comments on that and on the authenticity of the data the JCP lawmaker has brought to our attention."

In response, Kokuta held a press conference on April 2 and said, "The original documents I showed the other day indicate the details of the plan for the shared use of U.S. bases in Okinawa between the SDF and U.S. troops. Hidden from public purview, the government is taking various steps to strengthen the military."

Kokuta criticized the government for responding to the general public with the documents with passages blacked out and said, "This is a basic characteristic of the present government to cover up inconvenient facts."
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