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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 04, 1959


This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    Ishibashi Tanzan sent a letter to Zhou Enlai, asking for assistance on the idea that "the People's Republic of China and Japan are to be united as if they are one country to keep peace in Far East and promote world peace, and will base every policy on this principle."
    "Text of the Letter from Ishibashi Tanzan to the Premier dated 4 June 1959," June 04, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00669-01, 1. Obtained by Amy King and translated by Liu Meihan.
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People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency Premier Zhou Enlai:

Dear Sir:

I wish for your country’s development, and sincerely respect Your Excellency’s political talent.

When I was forming my cabinet as the Prime Minister of Japan, one of my desires was to cooperate with your country, and use it as a leverage to achieve global peace.

However, before getting anything done, I was struck by an unexpected illness and thus resigned from the post of Prime Minister. It has been two and a half years since, and compared to then the current situation has apparently deteriorated, quite contrary to my intentions to cooperate with your country [China]. If this trend continues, not only will the people of our two countries suffer greatly, but so will the world.

If Your Excellency and I could reach agreement on the outline I propose below, please lend me your precious assistance. I would exhaust my humble efforts to persuade and guide the people of Japan to achieve our common goal. But the assistance of your country is a prerequisite.

(1) The People’s Republic of China and Japan (below referred to as the two countries) are to be untied as if they are one country [in order] to keep peace in Far East and promote world peace, and will base every policy on this principle.

(2) To achieve the above-mentioned goals, efforts should be made in the spheres of economy, politics, and culture to remove the barriers imposed by national boundaries and to freely communicate with one another.

(3) The two countries have mutual respect for each other’s existing relations with the Soviet Union, the United States, and other countries and do not expect immediate changes [to these relationships]. However, both countries should make efforts to make these relations favorable to the realization of the above-mentioned goals. The specific methods are to be found through sincere discussions.

I believe that if our two countries enter into cooperation based on the above-mentioned ideals, our two countries have sufficient power to lead the world. Moreover, I firmly believe that Your Excellency will lend me support. That is why I wrote this letter.

Although I have just recovered from my illness, I am ready at any time to pay a visit to Your Excellency to discuss the specific methods of implementing the above-mentioned matters.

It would be my great honor if I could receive a reply from you.

Ishibashi Tanzan

June 4, 1959