Japan has confirmed the existence of a secret Cold War deal allowing the transit of nuclear-armed US vessels through its ports reported the BBC on March 9. The move by a government-appointed panel ends decades of official denial – although the existence of the pact was an open secret. The secret pact is controversial because after World War II and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan adopted the three “non-nuclear principles” – not making or possessing nuclear weapons, nor allowing them on to its soil. The secret deal was sealed in the 1960s between US and Japanese diplomats, who agreed that the transit of nuclear arms through ports did not constitute the introduction of weapons into Japan, and so did not require prior consultation on the US side.

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