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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Japanese Relations

Once war time enemies, relations between China and Japan were often quite cordial and pragmatic during the Cold War. The two countries normalized relations in 1972 and engaged in wide ranging cooperation, economic and political, from the late 1970s through the 1980s.

  • May 06, 1946

    From the Diary of V.M. Molotov, Reception of the Chinese Ambassador to France, Jing Tai, on 6 May 1946 at 3:00 p.m. in the Soviet Embassy in Paris

    The conversation is concerning the "German question" in terms of the conditions and aftermath of the surrender. PR China sees the negotiation on Germany as becoming an agreement that might apply similar to the question on the Japanese surrender. For this reason Jing Tai asks Molotov to allow China to take part in the negotiations on Germany. The trials of Japanese war criminals were also discussed.

  • June 20, 1948

    Memorandum of Conversation, Soviet Ambassador to China, N. V. Roshchin with the President of the Chinese Republic Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] on 2 June 1948

    Report from Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin on a conversation he had with Jiang Jieshi. The two discuss Japan; Jieshi remains vague on his opinions of the handling of the Japanese situation, but admits that the American approach has some flaws. Roshchin concludes that the Chinese should be watched with respect to Japan.

  • February 01, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai

    Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai discuss Chinese Communist Party contacts with the US, recognition of the coalition government, and the Chinese attitude toward foreign property.

  • January 14, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Hu Qiaomu

    Mao Zedong gives instructions to Hu Qiaomu on how to write about recent developments within the Japanese Communist Party.

  • January 22, 1950

    Record of Talks between I.V. Stalin and Chairman of the Central People's Government of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong

    Conversation between Stalin and Mao concerning a proposed treaty of friendship and alliance between the USSR and China. Discussion includes: the prospects of future Japanese aggression, the Chinese-Eastern Railway (Mao and Stalin disagree on who should run its administration), the Port Arthur agreements (including the question of the port of Dalny), and economic cooperation. The economic cooperation focuses on a Soviet credit program for economic development in China, as well as the question of arms shipments to China. There is also discussion of Tibet.

  • September 03, 1951

    Zhou Enlai’s Speech to the Central People’s Government Council, 'The Korean Ceasefire Negotiations and Making Peace with Japan'

    Speech by Zhou Enlai emphasizing the need to remain steadfast during negotiations with America on the Korean issue, in order to assure that the treaty is favorable to China and Korea. Notes that aiding Korea and resisting the United States is the only way to prevent Western dominance of East Asia.

  • 1955

    Information on Japan’s Participation in the Asian-African Conference

    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.

  • September 10, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 14 (Overall Issue No. 17)

    This issue begins with orders related to grain conservation. It also includes a statement regarding the departure of Japanese who stayed in China after World War II and documents that address China's exclusion from the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Other sections cover cooperation between Chinese and East German scientists, Sino-Egyptian trade negotiations, and regulations for graduate students in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • October 20, 1955

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou’s Reception of the Japanese Parliamentary Delegation in China and the Japanese Academic and Cultural Delegation in China

    Zhou Enlai and a group of Japanese officials and academics discuss the wartime history and present status of Japan-China relations. They also touch on US-Japan relations and economic conditions in China and Japan.

  • October 29, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 18 (Overall Issue No. 21)

    This issue includes a statement from Mao about the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. Other sections discuss plans for the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh CCP Central Committee, the Sino-Egyptian trade agreement, and trade negotiations between China and Ceylon (later Sri Lanka). Furthermore, it includes a joint statement from Peng Zhen, General Secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and the head of a delegation from the Japanese Diet, Kanbayashiyama Eikichi.

  • December 12, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 21 (Overall Issue No. 24)

    This issue first reiterates rules that prohibit local officials from offering transportation, banquets, or gifts to Party, government, and military personnel during visits or inspections. It also includes a statement about the first meeting of the Sino-Bulgarian Cooperative Science and Technology Committee and reports that discuss Sino-Japanese relations. Other sections cover wages, bank deposits, Mandarin-language education, and support for children's activities related to the "Little Five-Year Plan."

  • February 22, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 07 (Overall Issue No. 33)

    This issue discusses a government proposal for the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations. It also addresses the transformation of private industries and the liquidation of private enterprise property. Other sections cover labor protections for coal miners, the promotion of standard Mandarin, plans for pinyin, as well as awards for outstanding teachers and students who have sought to combat illiteracy.

  • July 05, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 25 (Overall Issue No. 51)

    This issue includes a statement about Sino-Cambodian economic aid and discusses the fate of those who committed war crimes during the Japanese invasion of China. It also addresses matters related to construction and design. One section considers the accuracy of Chinese terms for Islam.

  • October 20, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 37 (Overall Issue No. 63)

    This issue features a joint statement from Zhou Enlai and Nepali Prime Minister Tanka Prasad Acharya. It also includes a joint press release about the visit of Indonesian President Sukarno and a telegram from Zhou Enlai about an exhibition of Japanese goods. Other sections discuss state control over purchases and sales of grain, the division of surplus profits from state-owned enterprises, and agricultural production in disaster areas.

  • April 15, 1957

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and the Goodwill Mission of the Japanese Socialist Party to China

    Premier Zhou gives a speech to the goodwill mission of Japanese Socialist Party during their visit to China. Zhou comments on the evolution of Sino-Japanese relations. Zhou describes steps to "break the difficult situation of restoring the union of China and Japan".

  • June 21, 1960

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with a Japanese Literary Delegation

    Mao and visitors from Japan discuss their common struggle against American imperialism. While Mao notes that China once fought against Japanese imperialism, he emphasizes that they are now targeting the US and Chiang Kai-shek. He promises to have China support and learn from Japan.

  • October 07, 1961

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Japanese Friends

    Mao notes that, aside from pro-American capitalists and warlords, most Japanese people are China's friends. He calls for China and Japan to unite against American imperialism. This report was originally published in the Xinhua Monthly (1961, issue 11).

  • October 09, 1963

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Tanzan Ishibashi

    Premier Zhou speaks with former Japanese Prime Minister Tanzan Ishibashi about promoting Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations. Zhou expresses concern over the U.S.-Japan security treaty and the Japan-Taiwan treaty. Zhou says that diplomatic relations between China and Japan can be normalized when Japan recognizes the CCP as the sole representative of China. Ishibashi raises that there are some Japanese people that still have feelings towards Taiwan. Zhou classifies and explains the "feelings" of the Japanese public towards Taiwan into three groups.

  • January 27, 1964

    [Mao Zedong's] Remarks on the Recent Patriotic and Just Struggle of the Japanese People to Oppose American Imperialism

    Mao expresses support for an anti-American demonstration that recently occurred in Japan. He calls for Chinese people, Japanese people, and all other oppressed people of the world to unite against the United States.

  • April 18, 1964

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Kenzo Matsumura

    Zhou Enlai speaks with the spokesman for Japan's conservative party, Kenzo Matsumura. The two sides reached an agreement on the mutual establishment of non-governmental resident offices and the exchange of resident journalists. Zhou also discusses China's stance on the Taiwan issue. Both sides agree to work together toward normalization of Sino-Japanese relations.