【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants?


16】 Three secret manuals


Since the end of the occupation, post-war Japan has accepted the stationing of foreign forces (U.S. Forces) without any restriction, and has given up military and diplomatic sovereignty.

Admittedly, Japan made a great deal of economical profit by following the U.S. in that way. Also, the incoherence of it was not as evident during the period of the Cold War as it is now.

But the Cold War is over. It’s become impossible now to allow huge foreign forces to be stationed and act freely, not only in Okinawa but all over Japan. Doing so creates unsolvable political and social conflicts: Building the new base in Henoko and the deployment of the Osprey reveal the total incompatibility of “allowing foreign forces to act freely” and “establishing a democratic nation according to the rule of law.”

To conceal this enormous incoherence, postwar Japan needed thick, secret instruction manuals to regulate procedures in the most important sections of the state.

I will introduce them in the following order:

1) For the Supreme Court

“Confidential Document” (September 1952) (Official title: Civil and Criminal Special Laws Under the Japan-U.S. Administrative Agreement) edited and published by Supreme Court Secretariat.

2) For the Prosecutor’s Office

“Practical Document” (March 1972) (Official title: Criminal Action Against Members of the United States Armed Forces)

3) For MOFA

“How to Interpret Japan-U.S. SOFA” (Official title) (April 1973) written by the Treaties Bureau of MOFA

These three are secret instruction manuals to give U.S. Forces and U.S. soldiers actual “extraterritorial rights” in the independent, law-abiding nation of Japan. (All of them are to formalize secret “agreed minutes” at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee.)

Anyone wanting to understand these in more detail should consult these references: for 1) and 2), Secret Agreements – Japan-U.S. Status of Force Agreement and Crimes by American Soldiers by Toshihiro Yoshida, who also wrote Verification: the Collapse of a Constitutional State (published by Mainichi Shimbunsha), and for 3), Introduction to the “Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement,” Which Is Actually More Important than the Constitution (Rediscovering Japanese History After World War II series, Volume 2, published by Sogensha) written and edited by Hiromori Maedomari.