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Japan confirms secret Cold War-era pacts with US

Japan has confirmed the existence of secret Cold War-era pacts with the US that allowed nuclear-armed warships to enter Japanese ports, violating Tokyo’s postwar principles.

While declassified U.S. documents have already confirmed such 1960s agreements, Tuesday’s revelation broke with decades of official denials.

The investigation by a government-mandated panel is part of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s campaign to rein in the power of bureaucrats and make his government, which was elected to power last year, more open than that of the long-ruling conservatives, who repeatedly denied the existence of such pacts.

“It’s regrettable that such facts were not disclosed to the public for such a long time, even after the end of the Cold War era,” Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told a news conference, adding that the investigation was meant to restore public trust in Japan’s diplomacy.

The panel examined documents surrounding four pacts, including Tokyo’s tacit permission that U.S. nuclear-armed warships could make calls at Japanese ports – a violation of Japan’s so-called three non-nuclear principles not to make, own or allow the entry of atomic weapons.

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