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Agreed Minute to Joint Communique of United States

President Nixon and Japanese Prime Minister Sato (Draft)

21st November, 1969

United States President:

As stated in our Joint Communique, it is the intention of the United States Government to remove all the nuclear weapons from Okinawa by the time of actual reversion of the administrative rights to Japan; and thereafter the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and its related arrangements will apply to Okinawa, as described in the Joint Communique. However, in order to discharge effectively the international obligations assumed by the United States for the defense of countries in the Far East including Japan, in time of great emergency the United Stales Government will require the re-entry of nuclear weapons and transit rights in Okinawa with prior consultation with the Government of Japan. The United States Government would anticipate a favorable response. The United States Government also requires the standby retention and activation in time of great emergency of existing nuclear storage locations in Okinawa: Kadena, Naha, Henoko and Nike Hercules units.

Japanese Prime Minister:

The Government of Japan, appreciating the United States Government's requirements in time of great emergency stated above by the President, will meet these requirements without delay when such prior consultation takes place.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that this Minute, in duplicate, be kept each only in the offices of the President and the Prime Minister and be treated in the strictest confidence between only the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Japan.

Washington, D.C., November 21, 1969

PLEASE NOTE: This document has never been officially recognized by the Japanese or US Government as existing. We have Prime Minister Sato Eisaku's official envoy at the time of reversion negotiations, Wakaizumi Kei, to thank for revealing its contents. After 25 years of secrecy (although many Okinawan scholars long suspected such a deal) Wakaizumi determined that the general public be told. He presented the document at the beginning of his (in)famous 1994 book:

Wakaizumi Kei, Tasaku nakarishi o shinzamuto hossu [Literally: I want to believe there are/were no other options], Tokyo: Bungeishunju, 1994 (ISBN4-16-348650X C0031).

Download a scan of the document - Part One and Part Two. In as much as the legitimacy of the secret document is concerned, see also this scan of an associated press (AP) report from September 1971 of Nixon's comments on the reversion agreement. Note particularly Press Secretary Ziegler's response on the issue of nuclear weapons and their reentry into Okinawa.

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