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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 26, 1972


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    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."
    "Record of the Second Meeting between Prime Minister Tanaka and Premier Zhou Enlai," September 26, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2001-42, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Obtained by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Ryo C. Kato.
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Top Secret Indefinite

Prime Minister Tanaka [Kakuei]-Premier Zhou Enlai

(1972 September 25th ~ 28th)

- Japan-China Diplomatic Normalization Negotiations Record -

Asia Bureau, China Section


In Attendance


Prime Minister Tanaka

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ohira [Masayoshi]

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nikaido [Susumu]

China Section Chief Hashimoto [Hiroshi]


Premier Zhou Enlai

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ji Pengei

Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Liao Chengzhi

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Han Nianlong

(Note: The following record was typed in September 1988 from the original normalization negotiation records)


Second Summit Meeting (September 26th)

Premier Zhou: I highly regard the Japanese leaders’ statement that he wants to solve the diplomatic normalization issue through political, rather than legal, means. Several million Chinese were victimized by the war. Damages to Japan were also very large. We must not forget our lessons of history. We can accept Prime Minister Tanaka’s statement on “regret over the misfortunes of the past.” However, Prime Minister Tanaka’s comment, “…caused trouble on the Chinese people,” will only buy the animosity of the Chinese peoples. It is because in China, the word “cause trouble” [mafan] is used only when referring to inconsequential matters.

Including the Japan-Taiwan treaty and the Treaty of San Francisco will make the establishment of diplomatic relations impossible. Recognizing these treaties will legitimize Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] and make us unlawful. Based on the “Three Principles,” we want to pay due consideration to the difficulties that the Japanese Government will face.

I want to clarify some issues regarding the Japan-[Republic of] China Treaty. This is an issue concerning Jiang Jieshi. I was astonished to hear that the Foreign Minister believes that China does not need to renounce reparations because Jiang renounced reparations. Jiang renounced Japanese reparations after escaping to Taiwan, and after the San Francisco Treaty. You cannot protect your honor using other people’s belongings. The continent bore the brunt of the damages from the war.

We understand the hardships that reparation causes. We do not want the Japanese people to suffer this hardship.

Because Prime Minister Tanaka has come to China, and because he has said that he wants to solve the diplomatic normalization issue, I want to seriously consider renouncing reparations for the sake of friendship between the Japanese and Chinese peoples. However, we cannot accept the thinking that it is fine to leave the issue because Jiang Jieshi has already renounced reparations. This is an insult to China. I respect the thoughts of Prime Ministers Tanaka and Ohira, but does not the Japanese Foreign Minister’s statements run counter to the Prime Minister?

Regarding the Japan-US Security Treaty, it is unlikely for us to liberate Taiwan by force. You are no longer responsible for the 1969 Sato-Nixon Joint Statement. Even the US has said that they will no longer refer to the Joint Statement. Because Sato [Eisaku] has retired, we do not intend to raise this issue. Therefore, we do not find any issue regarding the Japan-US relationship. We are dissatisfied with the Japan-US Security Treaty. However, we find it fine for the Japan-US Security Treaty to continue. We do not need to touch on the Japan-US Security Treaty while we deal with the issue of diplomatic normalization. Japan-US relations should continue as is. We do not intend to trouble the US. The Japan-China relationship is not exclusive. Diplomatic normalization is not intended to target any third-party country. Both Japan and China have opinions regarding the Soviet Union, but we will not include this in the communiqué. We sympathize that Japan will encounter difficulties in regard to the Japan-Soviet Peace Treaty. Regarding the Northern Territories, Mao [Zedong] has said that the entirety of the Kurile Islands belong to Japan. The Soviets were angry about this. There are no issues in China that compares maotai above vodka, or whiskey, or cognac.

Friendship between Japan and China that lasts for generations and generations, and a friendship that will make it impossible to repeat history, will be beneficial to both of our peoples and will be  useful for world peace.

PM Tanaka: In general I can understand what Premier Zhou has said. With regard to normalization of diplomatic relations, Japan has many issues that it must solve. However, the primary objective of our visit to China is to realize diplomatic normalization and to start a new friendship. Therefore, we believe we must place all emphasis on this point. There are those in the LDP and those among our citizens who believe that the existing issues must be solved before diplomatic normalization. However, both Foreign Minister Ohira and I believe that diplomatic normalization must be accomplished ahead of the other outstanding issues.

It is my true belief that diplomatic normalization between Japan and China is necessary for our both of our citizens, Asia, and the world.

I have humbly received your statements regarding the renunciation of reparations. We thank you for this. I have deeply felt and understand that China wishes to overcome the feelings of animosity. We are grateful for China’s attitude, however, we still have problems within the Diet and internally within the ruling party [the Liberal Democratic Party]. However, we want to overcome these multifarious issues. We want to gain the wide support of the Japanese public for diplomatic normalization. I believe that doing so will be beneficial to the future of the Japan-China relationship.

I believe that the ministers will certainly find a solution to making a historic joint statement.

I concur with Premier Zhou’s view that we ought to toss out the small issues and focus on the large, important commonalities.

Japan’s difficulties come from the fact that its constitution differs from China’s and because Japan is not a socialist country. Therefore, these two differences will produce oppositions to diplomatic normalization. However, because diplomatic normalization is an issue that overcomes political systems, we want to avoid a split in the LDP over this issue.

Premier Zhou: I completely concur with Prime Minister Tanaka’s idea to suppress the elements within the LDP that are calling to slow down the diplomatic normalization process.

Prime Ministers Tanaka and Ohira have said that they fully understand the “Three Principles of Normalization.” Upon this basis, China has said that we will pay full consideration to Japan’s issues. If we do not, diplomatic normalization will be regarded with suspicion.

PM Tanaka: There are many within the LDP who believe that we must take more time with diplomatic normalization. There are those who feel uneasy over the fact that China was unified with great force. Leaving other socialist countries unmentioned, China’s policy of nonintervention in Japanese domestic politics is given as a precondition to diplomatic normalization. China will not promote the spirit of revolution within Japan. The LDP will settle down if we can affirm between Japan and China the spirit of compromise, nonintervention in domestic politics, and respect for the other’s positions.

Premier Zhou: I hope that you will be confident regarding that point.

PM Tanaka: Domestically, Japan is afraid that China is a great power.

Premier Zhou: Japan is an economic great power. We are behind. In a speech given in Kansas, [US President Richard] Nixon mentioned Japan second to the European Community. Japan’s steel production is second to the US. The US holds Japan’s economic power in high esteem. Next is China. China has an immense population, but its power is latent in nature. Truly, China is a potential power. Even if we become a great power, we cannot be a superpower. We have our hands full with applying our power domestically.

Ideology does not have borders. Ideology is something for the people to choose. However, we cannot export revolution.

Regarding economic strength, we have no idea if China’s national income can get to the level of Japan’s by the end of the 20th century. China’s gross national product for the previous year was 150 billion dollars. However, this does not include services. With a population of 700 million, this is per capita income of 200 dollars. How much was Japan’s per capita income in the previous year? (Listened to PM Tanaka and said) Then I believe that even when the end of this century comes, we will not reach the level of Japan.

Financially speaking we are unable to have modern arms. Additionally, we want to never become a military power. The question as to the amount of self-defense capabilities that Japan should hold is a question solely for Japan. China will not intervene on such issues.

PM Tanaka: Japan will not hold nuclear arms. Augmentation of defense capabilities will be capped to less than one-percent of GNP. We will protect our constitution that forbids overseas deployment of our army, and we will not reform this constitution. We will not act out of aggression. Therefore, Japan does not pose a threat. Ohira and I want to believe China’s statement that, as a result of diplomatic normalization, China will not interfere in the domestic matters of Japan and that China will not promote revolutionary forces in Japan. That China will not export revolution would be the greatest gift in my eyes.

Bringing the Liberal Democratic Party around to agreeing to all the points regarding diplomatic normalization will be the key to solving this problem.

Premier Zhou: In our case as well, a minority opposed the idea of diplomatic normalization between Japan and China. They also opposed improvements in US-China relations. Lin Biao was one such person. It is necessary for us to explain to the public, as well. Without educating the public, it will be impossible to convince the masses that suffered under the Three Alls Policy [translators note—this refers to the policy of “kill all, burn all, loot all” carried out by the Japanese army in China during World War II].










日本側  田 中 総理大


二階堂 官房長官

橋 本 中国課

国側  周恩来 総理大

姫鵬飛 外交部長

廖承志 外交部顧問

韓念龍 外交部副部長

(注: 本会談記録は国交正常化当時の記録を改めて昭和63年9月タイプしたものである。



総理: 日本政府首脳が国交正常化問題を法律的でなく、政治的に解決したいと言ったことを高く評価する。戦争のため幾百万の中国人が犠牲になった。日本の損害も大きかった。我々のこのような歴史の教訓を忘れてはならぬ。田中首相が述べた「過去の不幸なことを反省する」という考え方は、我々としても受け入れられる。しかし、田中首相の「中国人民に迷惑をかけた」との言葉は中国人の反感をよぶ。中国では迷惑とは小さなことにしか使われないからである







田中総理: 大筋において周総理の話はよく理解できる。日本側においては、国交正常化にあたり、現実問題として処理しなければならぬ問題が沢山ある。しかし、訪中の第一目的は国交正常化を実現し、新しい友好のスタートを切ることである。従って、これにすべての重点をおいて考えるべきだと思う。自民党のなかにも、国民のなかにも、現在ある問題を具体的に解決することを、国交正常化の条件とする向きもあるが、私も大平外相も、すべてに優先して国交正常化をはかるべきであると国民に説いている






総理: 田中総理が自民党内の国交正常化を急ぐなという意見をおさえて、気呵成にやりたいというその考えに全く賛成である


田中総理: 自民党の中には、国交正常化に十分の時間をかけろという意見が多い。それは、中国が大きな力で統一されたが、その中国に不安をもっているためである。他の社会主義国は別として中国は日本に対し内政不干渉であるという考えが国交正常化の前提となっている。日本の国内で、中国が革命精神の昂揚をやることはない。日中間に互譲の精神と内政不干渉、相手の立場を尊重するという原則が確認されれば、自民党内もおさまると思う

総理: その点は自信をもってほしい。

田中総理: 日本の国内には中国が大国であることに対する恐れがある

総理: 日本は経済大国である。我々は遅れている。かつて、ニクソンはカンサスで演説し、ECに次いで日本の名をあげた。日本の鉄鋼生産は米国についで世界第2位である。米国としては、日本の力を評価している。その次は中国である。中国は人口は多いが、潜在的な力をもっているに過ぎず、現実の力はない。中国は確かに潜在的な勢力である。しかし将来、力がつき大勢力となったとしても、超大国にはならない。国内に力を注ぐのに精一杯である




田中総理: 日本は核兵器を保有しない。防衛力増強は国民総生産の1%以下におさえる。軍隊の海外派兵はしないという憲法は守るし、これを改変しない。侵略は絶対にしない。だから日本に危険はない。国交正常化の結果、中国が内政に干渉しないこと、日本国内に革命勢力を培養しないことにつき、確信を持ちたいというのが、大平と私の考えである。中国が革命を輸出しないということが私の最大のみやげになる


総理: 々のところでも、日中国交正常化に、少数の者が反対した。また、彼らは米中関係改善にも反対した。林彪がそうだった。また我々の方も人民に説明する必要がある。人民を教育しなければ、「三光政策」でひどい目にあった大衆を説得することはできない



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