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Court Battle over Secret US-Japan Pact

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 Posted: 05:51 PM JST

Kyodo reports that the Tokyo District Court today held the first hearing over illegally indicted Mainichi Shimbun reporter Takichi Nishiyama (73). Nishiyama was arrested and indicted in 1972 after he reported on a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japan.

Nishiyama reported that Japan had secretly shouldered $4 million for the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. The Japanese government for years flatly denied the existence of a secret pact, but the release of U.S. government documents in 2000 and 2002 proved Nishiyama right.

In his suit, Nishiyama claims that "It is a state crime to submit a false treaty text to the Diet for discussions and approval, and it is an abuse of power to indict a reporter who tried to inform the public of the state crime."

A series of foreign ministers and chief Cabinet secretaries continued saying that there were no secret deals even after the release of the U.S. documents. These documents also showed that the Japanese government had asked the United States to deny the existence of the pact to the press.

According to Kyodo, Nishiyama's lawyer Katsumi Fujimori, told the court that the denials by the government officials are illegal, because they were made after the U.S. documents proved the existence of the secret pact.

Nishiyama seeks 33 million yen in compensation and an apology from the state.

Keywords: national_news

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