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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 21, 1978


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    The first meeting of negotiations consisted of press photos and statements made about goals of the Treaty.
    "Cable No. 1371, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (1st Meeting)'," July 21, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2010-367, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Contributed by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Stephen Mercado.
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Number: (TA)  R052678      5273

Primary: Director-General, Asian Affairs Bureau

Sent: China, July 21, 1978,   20:25

Received: MOFA, July 21, 1978,   21:55

To: The Foreign Minister

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (1st Meeting)

No. 1371 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1362

Following is a summary of the first meeting, which took place for approximately two hours, between three o’clock and five o’clock (including break time), on the afternoon of the 21st, at the Foreign Ministry Guest House (Guest House No. 3). (All members of the delegations from both sides attended.)

1. At the start of the meeting, after Japanese journalists took photographs for approximately five minutes, Vice Minister Han welcomed our side’s delegation based on a text prepared in advance. Along with his statement that he would like to work together with the Japanese delegation to smoothly conclude these treaty negotiations as soon as possible, he made the following remarks as a review of the course of the treaty talks:

(1) Three and a half years have passed since the start of the negotiations in November 1974. During this time there have been repeated talks. In March and April 1975, our two sides exchanged treaty drafts. In November 1975, the Japanese side put forward an amended draft. In response, on February 6, 1976, the Chinese Government made a formal reply to then Ambassador Ogawa.

(2) The reason that treaty negotiations have not advanced is the issue of the anti-hegemony clause. The Chinese side’s consistent attitude has been that, if both sides fix their attention from a political viewpoint truly based on the Joint Statement and the overall situation, overcoming this obstacle is possible and this issue is by no means something impossible to resolve.

2. Vice Minister Han continued in the following way to refer to the Japan-China Joint Communique:

(1) The Sino-Japanese Joint Statement is a historical document of profound significance for relations between our two countries. As the practice since the normalization of relations, the principles of the Joint Statement are entirely correct, agree with the fundamental interests of the people of our two countries, and receive widespread welcome from the people of the various countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

(2) The Joint Statement is the criterion for good-neighborly and friendly relations between our two countries and the basis and foundation for the conclusion of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. It is reasonable that this treaty must move forward on the basis of the Joint Statement. It certainly must not retreat from it. We ought to further raise the Joint Statement’s spirit and principle and make it all the more brilliant. It would not do to weaken or dilute it.

3. Next, Vice Minister Han said the following on opposition to hegemony. For the Chinese side:

(1) Opposition to hegemony is an extremely important principle of the Joint Statement. The Chinese side’s opposition to hegemony has been consistent and clear. The Japanese side is well aware of it.

(2) The two senses in the Joint Statement of not seeking hegemony and opposing any attempt at hegemony should be included intact in the main body of the treaty.

(3) China and Japan’s solidifying and developing relations of peace and friendship is not directed against any third country. Neither China nor Japan seeks hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region; both oppose any country or group of countries that seeks hegemony in this region. We stand opposed to anyone who would seek hegemony.

(4) To tell the truth, the anti-hegemony clause is not mainly an issue of expressing terms but a real issue involving the determination to improve relations between China and Japan.

(5) We firmly believe that the Chinese draft, put forth in April 1975, in particular the declaration of the anti-hegemony clause in Article 2, correctly realizes the spirit and substance of the Joint Statement (note: the original text in Chinese is “tixianle … jingshen he shizhi”) and is a satisfactory draft for both sides.

(6) Once again here, we ask the Japanese side to seriously consider this draft and, at the same time, the Chinese side wishes to hear the constructive opinions of the Japanese side.

4. With the end of the Chinese side’s thirty-minute introductory statement, I proposed taking a short break. Each went to its respective anteroom.

(break period of 25 minutes)

5. The talks started again from 4:05. After a simple introductory statement expressing thanks for Vice Minister Han’s opening remarks and the various preparations that the Chinese side had made, I gave our opening remarks as per outgoing telegram No. 1365.

6. Vice Minister Han spoke as follows in response to my opening remarks:

(1) I have listened at length to what you have said, Ambassador Sato. In particular, your explanation once again of the Government of Japan’s foreign course and policy, and of the view concerning the conclusion of the treaty between Japan and China, and your reference as well at the end to the treaty of alliance between China and the Soviet Union, are natural. I would like to state the Chinese side’s thoughts regarding the Japanese side’s statement at our next meeting. Regarding the issue of the alliance treaty between China and the Soviet Union, I trust that we have made clear our attitude on this issue to Japan’s leaders (note: riben de lingdao in Chinese), so I would like you to please rest assured.

(2) In order to take the utmost care, we would like to put forth our side’s view at the next meeting after having examined Ambassador Sato’s statement in earnest and at length. As one thought, negotiations having taken place over the course of more than three and half years and the Chinese side having put forth a treaty draft more than two years ago, we hope that the Japanese side will put forth a treaty draft and afford us examination and discussion. We think that that would concentrate and reduce the time and be useful in discussing the issue.

7. I replied to the above in saying, “Vice Minister Han’s health permitting, I think that we would like to meet again tomorrow, when our side would present what we consider our best treaty draft.” Vice Minister Han then said, “I agree with the Ambassador’s suggestion. How about tomorrow afternoon at three o’clock? I have a medical examination in the morning and the doctor will not give me a pass on it.” I then said, “I agree to that.”

8. Lastly, I spoke of wishing to consult on the press statement: “Making a simple one, without touching on details, and intending not to cause the Chinese side any inconvenience, may I ask you to leave it to me?” Vice Minister Han then said, “I am aware that this issue exists on the Japanese side, but how about simply stating that ‘talks have begun’? The Chinese side, too, plans only that for its press statement.” I said in response, “We have to state at least that the Japanese side has stated its general thinking on the treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China.” Vice Minister Han then again underscored, “I ask that you absolutely not touch on any details.” With that, we ended the meeting.

9. In addition, the atmosphere of the meeting was friendly and satisfactory. While I was speaking, Vice Minister Han listened in earnest, nodding frequently while doing so. (End)



総番号 (TA) R052678  5273  主管

78年  月21日20時25分  中国発

78年07月21日21時55分  本省着  ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1371号 極秘 大至急




























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