For English articles, click HERE. 日本語投稿はこちらをどうぞ。点击此处观看中文稿件


Records show Japan collaborated with U.S. to have base presence ruled Constitutional砂川事件:「跳躍上告検討」など外務省公開文書に協議内容

Mainichi Shimbun - April 8, 2010
Records show Japan collaborated with U.S. to have base presence ruled Constitutional

Gentaro Tsuchiya, left, and Shigeru Sakata show off copies of the document, released by the Foreign Ministry. (Mainichi)After a district court ruled in 1959 that the U.S. military presence in Japan was unconstitutional, Tokyo told Washington that it was considering skipping normal procedures and directly appealing the case to the Supreme Court to have the ruling reversed, it has been learned.

The information comes from a group of former defendants in the case, which is known as the "Sunagawa Case," who disclosed the details of a now declassified document they received from the Foreign Ministry. The document shows that Japanese and U.S. officials held secret consultations in a desperate bid to nullify the ruling as quickly as possible.

The document contains a record of a meeting between then Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and then U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II on April 1, 1959, only two days after the Tokyo District Court ruling.

At the beginning of the meeting, Fujiyama promised to continue efforts to revise the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty despite the ruling.

He then told MacArthur that Japan was considering appealing the district court ruling to the Supreme Court, skipping a high court.

When MacArthur then asked Fujiyama what the prospects were for such a maneuver, Fujiyama responded that he had heard that the Supreme Court would place priority on the case, but it would still take three or four months before it handed down a ruling.

In April 2008, it was separately learned from a declassified U.S. document that MacArthur met with Fujiyama the day after the original ruling and recommended that Japan appeal directly to the Supreme Court. However, the Foreign Ministry has denied that it has any record of this meeting.

"It's impossible that this record does not exist. We'll ask for it again," said one of the former defendants, Gentaro Tsuchiya, 75.

"I want to use all my power to continue getting the release of important documents as long as I'm alive," said another defendant, 80-year-old Shigeru Sakata.

Tsuchiya and Sakata were among seven protesters indicted for trespassing on a U.S. base in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, in 1957. However, in March 1959 the Tokyo District Court acquitted all, ruling that the U.S. military presence in Japan was unconstitutional.

Prosecutors appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court, skipping the Tokyo High Court. The Supreme Court overturned the district court's decision in December 1959.

The Supreme Court's ruling came only a month before the January 1960 revision to the bilateral security treaty. It is likely that Tokyo and Washington were attempting to annul the lower court decision before the treaty revision.

毎日新聞 4月8日






No comments: