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(米原潜の寄港に関する日米往復文書) 外務省

 During the past months, there has been an exchange of information between representatives of the Embassy and representatives of the Gaimusho, relating to the visits to Japan of U.S. nuclear-powered submarines(SSN's).With the exception of the difference in propulsion systems, nuclear-powered submarines are no different from other units of the United States Navy presently calling at Japanese ports and accordingly enjoy the same right of entry under US-Japan security arrangements.
 過去幾月にわたり、大使館及び外務省の代表者の間で、合衆国の通常の原子力潜水艦の日本国への寄港に 関する情報交換が行なわれてきた。原子力潜水艦は、推進系統の相違を除き、現在日本国の港に寄港している合衆国海軍の他の艦船となんら異なるものではなく、したがって、日米間の安全保障に関する諸取極に基づく寄港の権利と同一の権利を享有するものである。

While the entry of these submarines, therefore, is not Subject to prior consultation under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the United States Government, aware of the concern of the Japanese people, has chosen to discuss this matter with the GOJ before exercising this right.

With respect to matters that do involve prior consultation, the United States Government, as stated in the joint US-Japan communique of January 19, 1960, has no intention of acting in a manner contrary to the wishes of the Japanese Government.

 Within the statutory and security limitations on the disclosure of information concerning nuclear powered warships, the United States has made every possible effort to be fully cooperative and has given answers as set forth below to questions on SSN safety, compensation, and related matters.

1.Safety and operational aspects

There have been more than 100 visits of nuclear-powered warships to foreign ports without incident of any kind, and all of these visits have been accepted by the host countries solely on the basis of U.S. assurances as to the safety of the ships involved.

Extensive precautions are taken in SSN construction, maintenance, operation and crew selection and training to insure safety of these ships.

SSN reactors are so constructed as to be unable to explode like an atomic bomb.

Safety features built into these reactors assure shutdown in event of emergency.

All SSN crew members receive highly specialized training and carry out their tasks strictly in accordance with operating procedures which have been developed with rigid adherence to high safety standards.

The history of the safe operation of naval nuclear propulsion plants indicates that these precautions have been successful.

The stringent safety standards applicable to SSN's make the reliability of their operation at least equivalent to that of land-based reactors.

Throughout the history of operation of U.S. nuclear-powered warships, there have been no accidents that have resulted in damage to reactor plants or any radioactive hazards to the environment.

The same safety criteria are applied with regard to visits of U.S. SSN's to foreign ports as are applied in the case of their visits to U.S. ports.

In this regard, it is understood that the Government of Japan will provide any information which it believes pertinent to safety consideration around ports in Japan to be visited by SSN's.

SSN's are required, in accordance with the United States Navy's radiological procedures and criteria reviewed by both the United States Public Health Service and the Atomic Energy Commission, to limit their radioactive discharges to safe concentration levels and quantities.

SSN effluent discharges are wholly consistent with the Japanese laws and standards as well as international standards.

As a result of extensive tests made by U.S. Public Health Service officials at ports where large numbers of SSN's habitually operate, it has been shown that the SSN's have no effect on the general background radioactivity of the environment including marine life.

No contamination has occurred in any port visited by SSN's.

Demineralizer waste is never discharged in ports or near land areas and is therefore not of concern in connection with port visits. Furthermore, it is not discharged anywhere near known fishing areas.

Solid wastes are transferred by SSN's to U.S. shore or tender facilities for subsequent packaging and burial in the U.S. in accordance with approved procedures.

The report on radioactive waste disposal from U.S. nuclear-powered ships prepared by the Nuclear Propulsion Division of the Bureau of Ships in January 1959, a copy of which has been made available to the Japanese Government, constitutes an official and authoritative source of information regarding SSN waste disposal and the U.S. Navy's instructions pertaining thereto.

In keeping with the principles stated in this report, the Navy's instructions have been revised to reflect new, more conservative, recommendations of the ICRP and of National Bureau of Standards Handbook No.69, rather than Handbook No.52 as stated in the 1959 report.

  It is not contemplated that SSN fuel would be changed or that power-plant repairs would be undertaken in Japan or its territorial waters.

No material exposed to radioactivity is normally removed from SSN's while in foreign ports.

If, under unusual circumstances, material so exposed were to be removed, this would be done in such a manner as not to cause a hazard and in accordance with procedures used in U.S. ports.

It is intended that SSN's call at Yokosuka and Sasebo. If the Government of Japan wishes to make background checks at these ports, the United States authorities would be glad to cooperate.  通常の原子力潜水艦は、横須賀及び佐世保に寄港することが予定されている。日本国政府がこれらの港におけるバックグラウンド放射能の検査を行ないたい場合には合衆国の当局は、よろこんで協力する。 Entry and departure are accomplished by nuclear power. The use of auxiliary power does not provide sufficient maneuvering power to insure operational safety. Reactors are normally shut down shortly after mooring and they are normally started up a few hours before departure.

It may be noted that without prejudice to the right of U.S. warships to innocent passage and in accordance with usual practice SSN's would normally transit Japan's territorial waters only when proceeding directly to and from port, utilizing normal channels and navigational aids.

Port entry and departure are normally accomplished in day-light, although unusual operational requirements might necessitate night time movement.

It is not necessary to stop normal sea traffic when SSN's enter and depart a port.
SSN movements have no more effect on port traffic than other submarines, and they have less effect than larger warships.

The purpose of SSN visits is to provide (a) rest and recreation for crews and (b) logistic support and maintenance.

2. Liability and compensation aspects

Compensation in the event of an accident will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement.

To the extent that Japanese Law No. 147 of June 17, 1961 would apply to ships of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, it would be equally applicable under the provisions of Article 18, paragraph 5 (a) of the Status of Forces Agreement, to the handling of claims for nuclear incidents involving SSN's where personal injury or death is involved, including sickness or disease caused by radiation contamination.

Similarly, the exchange of Notes of August 22, 1960 and the Joint Committee Agreement of September 5, 1961 concerning small maritime claims also apply to SSN's.

 Where the Status of Forces Agreement is not applicable the United States Public Vessels Act, the United States Admiralty Claims Settlement Authority and the United States Foreign Claims Act are available under the United States legislation for settling claims arising out of a nuclear accident involving a United States nuclear warship.

Under the Public Vessels Act and the Admiralty Claims Settlement Authority a showing of legal liability in maritime law is required.

In this regard it may be noted that under the Public Vessels Act the U.S. is liable for acts of its warships to the same extent as private owners are liable for the acts of their vessels.

The U.S. may be sued in person, and the U.S. Executive Branch may settle or compromise suits under Public Vessels Act for activities of its warships without further dollar limitation.

 The Admiralty Claims Settlement Authority authorizes the Secretary of Navy to approve and pay a claim in an amount up to $1 million. Claims in excess of $1 million are to be reported to Congress for case by case appropriations.

Under the Foreign Claims Act settlement may be made by the Foreign Claims Commission without proof of legal liability, but there must be proof that the damage was caused by the United States.

Under this legislation claims up to $15 thousand may be paid by the Secretaries of the military departments. Large claims may be referred to Congress for necessary appropriations.

 In any event, when the Status of Forces Agreement is not applicable, the United States Government assures its readiness to deal with claims arising out of a nuclear incident involving a visiting SSN through diplomatic channels.

August 17, 1964
1964 (昭和39)年8月17日


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