August 17, 2008
Panel to Investigate Okinawa Reversion
A panel is to probe whether the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty from the United States was carried out fairly, a lawyer says.
The investigation next month comes amid suspicion that there was a secret deal, the Kyodo news agency reported Sunday.
A 1971 document declassified by the U.S. government is believed to show Japan secretly shouldered $4 million in costs the United States was supposed to pay to restore Okinawa's land to its original state.
"The government must store copies of the documents, and we will demand that it make them open to the public by presenting the government with the duplicates of the released documents," said Kazuo Hizumi, a Tokyo lawyer representing the panel.
The investigative group was formed after the Tokyo High Court in February rejected a lawsuit filed by a former reporter convicted in the 1970s over his news-gathering about the Okinawa reversion.