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‘Secret’ reversion deal getting a new review

Date Posted: 2008-08-20

Once-secret documents dealing with Okinawa’s reversion from U.S. to Japanese control are again being studied by professional journalists and historians who will try again to determine whether there were any under-the-table deals between the two governments prior to the reversion agreement.
Stories have floated for more than three decades that Japan secretly agreed to pick up more than $4 million in costs for restoring Okinawa land to its original state, something the agreement says was a United States responsibility. The new investigation will focus on documents put together during the 1969 ~ 1971 period that are already declassified, and others the group hopes to have declassified soon.
Historians have long contended Japan and America made a secret pact, something Japan’s government has steadfastly denied. The newly-formed group maintains the Japanese government has copies of all documents from the era, and is demanding they be made public. The group was created earlier this year after Takichi Nishiyama, a former Mainichi Shimbun reporter convicted of reporting secret information about the Okinawa Reversion in the 1970’s, unveiled information not previously known.
The 76-year-old Nishiyama lost his court battle, but not because of his charges being unfounded. The Tokyo High Court ruled the statute of limitations had run out, leaving him without legal grounds to demand an apology and compensation. Nishiyama had reported in the newspaper that secret deals were made, and offered documents to back it up.

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