The United States does not think that the Japanese government's confirmation of secret bilateral pacts on nuclear arms and other issues will affect relations between the two countries, a senior US official has said.
"I don't think it's going to significantly affect cooperation between the United States and Japan," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip Crowley told reporters.
"We have faithfully honored our obligations under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and will continue to do so," he said.
He said Tokyo's probe into the bilateral pacts was "a Japanese government matter." The pacts have already been exposed through declassified US documents and other sources.
"We understand the special sentiment of the Japanese people with regard to nuclear weapons," the State Department spokesman said, referring to deep-rooted anti-nuclear sentiments among the Japanese public following the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
A Japanese government panel concluded yesterday that three secret pacts existed, including one effectively allowing port calls by US vessels carrying nuclear weapons without prior consultation.
The confirmation ended decades of official denial that such secret pacts existed.