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Reporter appeals claim rejection in secrets pact

Date Posted: 2007-04-14

A former journalist who claims his stories about a secret deal between the US and Japan in the 1970ís ruined his career is appealing a court ruling in the case.

Former Mainichi Shimbun political reporter Takichi Nishiyama was arrested and convicted in 1978 of violating the Japanese National Public Service Law for reporting of the $4 million pact between the two governments in conjunction with the return of Okinawa to Japanese control. The recent release of American documents confirming the secret agreement led Nishiyama to seek an apology from the Japanese government and •33 million in compensation.

The Tokyo District Court last month rejected his suit, saying his claim had to be filed within 20 years. Nishiyama is now appealing the district court ruling to the Japanese High Court. The testimony of a retired Japanese Foreign Ministry official who admitted being part of the secret deal has led Nishiyama to keep on fighting.

The 75-year-old reporter was shunned out of the media business after the incident, which plunged the Mainichi Shimbun into bankruptcy from which it has never fully recovered.

Nishiyama still seeks to make the government acknowledge the deal. The Tokyo District Court ruling never addressed whether the secret agreement actually existed.

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