A former secretary of the late Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira will publish early next year a

memoir that will refer to the existence of a purported decades-old secret pact agreed on between Japan and the United States on nuclear arms, sources said.

Hajime Morita, 75, is a former House of Representatives member and son-in-law of Mr. Ohira, who, as

foreign minister, allegedly affirmed with the United States in 1963 the content of the pact under which Tokyo would allow stopovers by US military vessels carrying nuclear weapons without prior consultations.

The Foreign Ministry's expert panel studying the nuclear pact and other secret agreements is considering conducting a hearing with Morita, the sources yesterday said.

The secret nuclear deal is believed to have been agreed on bilaterally in revising the Japan-US security treaty in 1960, although the treaty officially requires Washington to hold prior consultations with Tokyo before bringing nuclear weapons into Japan.

Mr. Morita will also admit the existence of another bilateral secret pact over cost burdens associated to the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty from US control, based on his career as a Finance Ministry official.

In the memoir, Mr. Morita will describe how Mr. Ohira was in anguish after he was informed of the existence of the secret nuclear pact by then US Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer in April 1963.

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