Okinawa reversion account at Fed found
The government has turned up a record that shows Japan deposited about $60 million into a noninterest bearing account at a U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in connection with financing the 1972 reversion of Okinawa under a purported secret agreement between the two countries, government sources said Friday.
The account at a U.S. Federal Reserve bank was probably used in connection with Japan's shouldering of costs for the reversion and it is possible that proceeds generated from the deposit were given to the United States, according to experts on Japan-U.S. relations.
Declassified documents in the United States and testimony by former senior Japanese government officials have confirmed the existence of secret agreements in relation to the 1972 reversion, but past Japanese governments have denied them.
It is believed Japan has given about a total of $120 million in proceeds from the deposit over the years to the United States through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York account.
Finance Minister Naoto Kan, asked about the deposit at a news conference Friday, said, "It is certain that there was an account and there were interest-free deposits in it."
But he declined to give details or comment on whether the deposits were connected with the reversion.
Kan said the Finance Ministry is still consulting with the Foreign Ministry, which has taken the lead role in investigating whether there were various secret pacts.
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