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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1955

INFORMATION ON JAPAN’S PARTICIPATION IN THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    A Chinese report on Japan's participation before the Asian-African Conference. The report observes that the Japanese public paid more attention to this conference than to the previous Bangkok conference and highlighted Tokyo's desire to cooperate with China.
    "Information on Japan’s Participation in the Asian-African Conference," 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00085-24. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114719
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Information on Japan’s Participation in the Asian-African Conference

(This document was sent by Comrade Li Kenong. Notes by Comrade Li Kenong: This document is compiled according to the Tokyo broadcast. It is estimated that the name-list of Japan’s participants for the Asian-African Conference will in general have not much change)

Japan has decided to dispatch its Minister of State and Chief of the Economic Deliberative Agency Takasaki Tatssunosuke, Consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Masayuki, President of the Commercial and Industrial Conference Fujiyama Aiichiro (Notes by Deng Guang: According to Kyodo news from Tokyo on April 3, the Japanese government has appointed the Consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kase Shunichi as the deputy representative, not Fujiyama Aiichiro. The 5 persons dispatched by the diet includes Sata Tadataka from the Left Socialist Party and Sone Eki from the Right Socialist Party, who were received by  Premier Zhou), each 2 persons from the Freedom Party, Democratic Party and Socialist Party, 1 person from the Green Wind Society of the Senate as its representatives for attending the Asian-African Conference.

This is the first time for Japan, with an independent status, to participate in an international conference after the war. Because of this Japanese public opinion has paid great attention to it. Japanese public opinion once pointed out that the Asian-African Conference felt more significant, as the Bangkok Conference was divorced from the reality of Asia. The newspaper circle held that the result probably achieved by the conference “in the friendship, independence and anti-colonialist system of the Asian and African countries will be abstract”. But the official speech is more cautious. When the American correspondent asked Hatoyuma what Japan would do if China and India put forward the “Five Principles of Coexistence”, Hatoyuma answered that he didn’t know, and added that he would “submit” to the Five Principles” and “coexist and cooperate with India as far as possible”.

The American attitude towards the participation of Japan in the conference is to attempt to make use of it on the one hand, and worry about and be on the alert for it on the other. Talks on this subject were held between Dulles and the Japanese Ambassador to USA Iguchi, and American Ambassador Erisson and Iguchi, and Errison and the Director of the Asia Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nakagawa Toru, etc. The Japanese newspapers estimated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would ward off the Chinese speech by translating it in a “western way” at the conference (meaning to offset the Chinese influence by the British and American positions).

But Japan has an aspiration of direct contact with China. Japan thinks that if China condemns USA at the conference, Japan will be put in embarrassment. Japan also believes that China knows its difficult position so that if only China can see clearly that Japan has its “basic policy”, China would not ask Japan to abolish the Japan-America Security Treaty and force Japan to make an immediate choice between the eastern and western camps as well.

According to the open information, the utmost purpose of Japan is to take this opportunity to carry out its independent economic diplomacy in Asia. In the middle of March, Japan convened its diplomatic envoy meeting, accredited in the 22 Asian and African countries, in Karachi for this purpose. It is estimated that Japan would put forward a positive proposal on economic exchange, expressing that it is willing to make contributions to economic cooperation in Asia. On political questions, it would openly support anti-atomic weapons, advocating that “all” countries should not possess atomic weapons; it would support anti-embargos in general, advocating that various countries should make their own decisions in accordance with their own specific conditions; it may avoid clearly expressing it’s attitude towards the Taiwan issue, advocating “two Chinas” in the pretext of opposing war; it would explore the attitude of various Asian countries towards Japan-Soviet negotiations.

The chief representative Takasaki, directly representing Hatoyuma, is an entrepreneur with broad vision and an adventurous spirit, always advocating that Japan should have economic exchange with Asian countries. Nongovernmental representative and consultant Fujiyama is the representative of the industrial and commercial circle. The so-called Acting Chief Representative represents Shigemitsu.  Shigemitsu originally intended to attend the conference, but Hatoyuma opposed it so that he was dispatched to USA. Hatoyuma and Shigemitsu both want to dispatch their trusted persons to participate in the conference, constituting two heads of the delegation. The delegation consists of government officials, nongovernmental leaders, professional diplomats and various party personnel, who will carry out various activities inside and outside the conference.