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Ruling in Okinawa reversion secrets case to come in fall

Date Posted: 2011-06-09

A long-running court case over what diplomats knew, but weren’t telling, as the Okinawa reversion issue was being considered in the late 1960’s by Japan and the United States is again headed to a court ruling.

At issue is who knew what, and when it was known, and why Okinawans were not told of secret diplomatic documents that chronicled costs Okinawa would have to bear when the U.S. returned control of the islands to Japan. Plaintiffs argued that the long-declassified documents “must enable Japanese citizens to examine the nation’s past policies and hand them down to future generations.”

The government’s defense, as presented to Tokyo District Court, argues it cannot find the papers that support the existence of a secret bilateral pact over financing plans for reversion, which ultimately came in 1972.

The high court says it will rule in the case by September 29th. Plaintiffs’ lawyers say the ‘missing’ documents “are quite important historical documents that tell the truth of the bilateral secret pact over the financing of the Okinawa reversion, and enable people to learn the U.S. base problem in Okinawa.”

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