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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.

  • September 25, 1972

    Record of the First Meeting between Prime Minister Tanaka and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Tanaka Kakuei and Zhou Enlai had a conversation over the reasons for delay in diplomatic normalization, including the Japan-Taiwan relationship and the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty.

  • September 26, 1972

    Record of First Meeting between Foreign Minister Ohira and Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei

    During a conversation, Ji Pengfei, the Chinese Foreign Minister, handed the draft which mentioned the status of war to Ohira Masayoshi, the Japanese Foreign Minister.

  • September 26, 1972

    Record of Second Meeting between Foreign Minister Ohira and Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei

    Ohira Masayoushi and Ji Pengfei had a conversation over the main body of the joint declaration, especially for the Three Principles in the preamble.

  • September 26, 1972

    Record of the Second Meeting between Prime Minister Tanaka and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai and Tanaka Kakuei discussed the Taiwan issue, especially for Japan-Taiwan relations after Japan-China diplomatic normalization. Zhou mentioned that he wants to start "establishing a new relationship between Japan and China."

  • September 27, 1972

    Mao Zedong, 'Settlement of the Questions of Restoration of Diplomatic Relations between China and Japan Still Depends on the Government of the Liberal Democratic Party'

    Mao met with Tanaka Kakuei, the Prime Minister of Japan, and he argued that settlement of the question of restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Japan still depends on the government of the Liberal Democratic Party.

  • September 27, 1972

    Informal Talks between Foreign Minister Ohira and Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei

    Ohira Masayoshi and Ji Pengfei had a conversation about the joint declaration, especially for the end of war, expressions and the timing for the announcement.

  • September 27, 1972

    Excerpt of Mao Zedong’s Conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka

    Mao claims that, as a result of Tanaka's visit to China, "the whole world is trembling in fear." In addition to discussing international politics, Mao and Tanaka also delve into ancient Chinese history and Buddhist philosophy.

  • September 27, 1972

    Record of the Third Meeting between Prime Minister Tanaka and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai met with Tanaka Kakuei and discussed foreign affairs, including the Korean War, the Sino-Soviet Treaty and Indochina issues after the Vietnam War. Zhou claimed that "the liberation of Taiwan is a domestic issue."

  • September 27, 1972

    Record of Third Meeting between Foreign Minister Ohira and Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei

    Ji Pengfei, the Chinese Foreign Minister, explained the Chinese delegation's thoughts regarding the title and expression used in the joint declaration.

  • September 28, 1972

    Record of the Fourth Meeting between Prime Minister Tanaka and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai met with Tanaka Kakuei, the Japanese Prime Minister and shared opinions regarding the diplomatic normalization. Zhou claimed that "it is unlikely for us to liberate Taiwan by force."

  • December 15, 1972

    Secret Telegram from Moscow to Warsaw, No. 13698

    This gives a short overview of Chinese foreign policy in light of Communist and Soviet attitudes and perceptions in China. A possible Soviet response to such attitudes is suggested.

  • February 28, 1973

    Note on the Meeting with Comrade O.B. Rakhmanin, Deputy Head of International Department of CC

    This document notes changes in Chinese policy that has led to difficult relations with the Soviets, and problems caused by comments made by Mao Zedong. It also discusses other aspects of Chinese foreign policy, such as their attitude and actions towards the U.S. and Japan.

  • October 12, 1973

    Verbatim Transcript of the Third Meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai and Trudeau have a wideranging conversation on international politics, covering the Vietnam War, Sino-Japanese relations, Nixon's visit to China, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Arctic circle, and nuclear energy safeguards, among other topics.

  • January 21, 1974

    Secret Telegram No. 901 - From Moscow to Warsaw

    Nowak reports on how the Chinese are using anti-Soviet propaganda at home and abroad to undermine Soviet influence and encourage possible coups. He notes that this is especially seen in Sino-Japanese relations and recent visits by Japanese politicians to China.

  • July 25, 1975

    Prime Minister Miki – President Ford Meeting Discussion Outline

    An extensive overview of international issues bearing on the US-Japan relationship, including the situations in the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

  • September 06, 1975

    Note regarding the Meeting between Ilie Verdeț and Ji Denggui

    Ji Denggui and Ilie Verdeț discuss bilateral relations between China and Romania, nuclear proliferation and diarmament, Soviet-American relations, Comecon, European security, US policy toward Taiwan, Japan-Soviet relations, and economic development in China and Romania, among other topics.

  • July 21, 1978

    Negotiations for the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty

  • August 12, 1978

    Untitled report from Wolt, Polish Intelligence Station Beijing, concerning the mutual visit of Cambodian and North Korean delegations in China

    A Polish report from Beijing speculates on North Korean-Cambodian and Sino-North Korean ties.

  • May 22, 1980

    The Issue of the North Korean Invasion of the South

    Japan and China discuss the possibility of a North Korean invasion of South Korea.

  • June, 1980

    East German Report on the Eleventh Interkit Meeting in Poland, June 1980

    Report from the East German representatives on the 11th Interkit meeting held in Poland. This was the first meeting attended by the Vietnamese.