U.S. Discussed Financial Aid in 1965 to Influence Okinawa Polls

Politics

Washington, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)--Then U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer in 1965 proposed funneling money covertly to politicians of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party to influence upcoming elections in Okinawa, a declassified record showed Tuesday.

The proposal was made at a U.S. government meeting before the reversion of U.S.-occupied Okinawa to Japan in 1972, according to a document released by George Washington University's National Security Archive.

According to the memo titled "U.S. Policy in the Ryukyu (Okinawa) Islands," the meeting on July 16, 1965, was attended by Reischauer, Stanley Resor, then secretary of the U.S. Army, and others.

In the meeting, Reischauer said it would be better for the U.S. government to channel money to Okinawa through Japanese politicians rather than sending funds directly to the region.

"It would be much safer to use only the Japanese route, permitting the Japanese LDP to handle the money in the most effective way," Reischauer told the meeting.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press