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CIA Reportedly Paid Millions to Japan's LDP

October 09, 1994| From Reuters

NEW YORK — The CIA supported the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the conservative party that dominated Japanese politics, with millions of dollars in a major Cold War covert operation during the 1950s and 1960s, the New York Times reported in today's editions.

The Central Intelligence Agency gave money, at the request of the LDP, to make the country a bulwark against communism in Asia and undermine the Japanese left, the paper said, quoting former intelligence officials and diplomats from the United States and Japan.

The CIA did not respond to the allegations about the Liberal Democrats, whose 38 years of one-party rule ended last year after a series of corruption cases.

Thanks in part to the CIA funding, the LDP thwarted its Socialist opponents, held one-party rule, and fought off public opposition to creating U.S. military bases in Japan, the Times said.

The paper also cited U.S. government records from the 1960s, declassified in accordance with a law that opens records relating to foreign policy after 30 years.

"The principle was certainly acceptable to me," the paper quoted U. Alexis Johnson, U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1966 to 1969, as saying. "We were financing a party on our side."

The covert aid apparently ended in the early 1970s, the paper said, amid growing trade friction.

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