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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 22, 1978


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    Negotiation talks include the anti-hegemony clause and the foreign relations of China and Japan.
    "Cable No. 1384, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (2nd Meeting)'," July 22, 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) R052940      5285

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, July 22, 1978,   19:40

Received: MOFA, July 22, 1978,   21:30

To: The Foreign Minister

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (2nd Meeting)

No. 1384 Secret Top Urgent (Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1371

Following is a summary of the second meeting, which took place for approximately two hours, between three o’clock and five o’clock (including break time), on the afternoon of the 22nd. (The place of the meeting and the participants were the same as for the first meeting.)

1. First, Vice Minister Han, based on a text prepared in advance, said that the Chinese side had examined at length and in earnest the Japanese side’s opening remarks from the previous day. The Japanese side’s thinking had been made clear many times to date and was not new to the Chinese side. The Chinese side, as it had had the Japanese side’s thinking made clear once again, would also succinctly state the Chinese side’s thinking. He then stated the following two points:

1) First, concerning Japan’s foreign relation, to which the Ambassador referred, we understand that relations between Japan and the United States are in a special position. The Chinese side has always said that relations between Japan and the United States come first and that those between China and Japan come second. We expect Japan and the United States to improve their mutual relations on the basis of equality. We understand that Japan, facing an actual threat under the present international circumstances, is in need of the Japan-US Security Treaty for its national security. We say that relations between China and Japan are in second place in comparison to those between Japan and the United States, but it absolutely will not do for Sino-Japanese relations to be treated as trifling, for others to interfere in them as they please or to treat them lightly. My thinking is that in any country’s foreign policy there is going to be a focus. Japan has to put its focus between the United States and the Soviet Union and is incapable of an equidistant policy between China and the Soviet Union. As China sees it, a so-called equidistant diplomacy is in fact impossible. Both China and Japan are independent and sovereign countries. Both have adopted their own independent foreign policy. Neither country should interfere in the internal affairs of the other party, much less impose on the other. This goes without saying.

China’s foreign policy certainly has differences from that of Japan, but this will not prevent both countries – on the basis of the Joint Statement and in seeking common ground while putting aside differences – from ceaselessly advancing good-neighborly and friendly relations and making the contributions that both countries should make for improving the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. What is important in the treaty talks is to affirm the points in common for both sides.

China and Japan’s concluding this treaty and fortifying and developing the two countries’ relations of peace and friendship do not harm the interests of third countries. At the same time, we absolutely cannot accept any third country butting into the affairs of our two countries or interfering in them. This, too, is a self-evident truth.

(2) Second, I will speak concerning the issue of the anti-hegemony clause. We view as very important the Ambassador’s statement yesterday in regard to the Government of Japan’s position on the issue of hegemony that it remains steadfast according to Article 7 of the Joint Statement. The Chinese Government has consistently called for the conclusion of this treaty as soon as possible on the basis of the Joint Statement and for the development of relations between our two countries. The anti-hegemony clause is an important principle of the Joint Statement and reflects a point in common of the foreign policies of the governments of our two countries. The anti-hegemony clause is that which most conforms to logic. If a country seeks peace and friendship, then any country must be on friendly terms with that country, but do you think that it would be possible to be on friendly terms with someone seeking hegemony?

There would be nothing to do in response to this but to resist it. As the Ambassador mentioned in his remarks yesterday, in the world there are a very few people who are intent on opposing the anti-hegemony clause. If they do not seek hegemony, then why should they be concerned that others are opposed to hegemony? This simply reveals that they are either seeking hegemony or that they are thinking to seek it.

Yesterday, the Ambassador mentioned for reference the Government of Japan’s Soviet policy, so I would like now to state here for reference the Chinese side’s view. We do not oppose Japan’s long having maintained correct relations with the Soviet Union.  We understand Japan’s wish to develop friendly relations with all countries. However, not everything objective can be decided according to one’s subjective desires.  As with the Ambassador’s statement itself yesterday, even today, more than 30 years after the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union is still in illegal occupation of Japan’s four northern islands and rejects Japan’s just claims. That is not all. The Soviet air force and navy ceaselessly pose a military threat to Japan. It is completely right for the Government of Japan to oppose the Soviet Union’s violent and unreasonable behavior. We have always supported resolutely the government and people of Japan in such a just struggle. We consider our attitude in this regard to be entirely consistent with the spirit of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement.

The Soviet Union has engaged in various threats and intimidation against Japan in regard to concluding this treaty and has applied a variety of pressures. This is the Soviet Union’s old trick. Our conclusion, drawn from long years of association with the Soviet Union, is exactly that the Soviet attitude is one of bullying the weak and fearing those with a firm attitude. Ambassador Ogawa has spoken time and again on this point.  It becomes a trap: the more restrained one is toward the Soviet Union, the more one is despised. There is nothing exceptional about facing them with a bit of a firm attitude.

In the Ambassador’s remarks yesterday the phrase “any specific third country” appeared time and again.  Frankly speaking, that refers to the Soviet Union.  Our treaty does not refer to the Soviet Union by name.  The Ambassador, too, said yesterday that everyone, no matter who it is, opposes those who would seek hegemony. This is correct. Accordingly, there is no need to use “any specific third country,” which is a substitute for another name. I have said enough. I ask the Japanese side for its consideration.

2. I replied to Vice Minister Han’s statement in say, “I think that my replying to what Vice Minister Han Nianlong has just said would be beneficial to an increasingly clearer understanding of the positions of our two countries. In response to such a well-considered statement, however, I think that an immediate reaction would perhaps be lacking in courtesy.” I next proposed, “As promised yesterday, I think that our side would like to put forth a treaty draft, but much time has passed, so I would like to take a break of 10 to 15 minutes.” We then took a break for 25 minutes.

3. We met again from around 4:15. After I read aloud nearly verbatim the opening section of the “Explanation on the Japanese Side’s New Treaty Draft Proposal,” prepared by our Ministry, we distributed Japanese and Chinese versions of the Japanese side’s new treaty draft to the Chinese side. Treaties Division Director Saito then read aloud the distributed treaty draft and explained each article on the basis of the Ministry’s “Explanation.”

4. After finishing the explanation, I said that I would happily answer any questions the Chinese side might have regarding the Japanese side’s explanation. When I said that I would be happy to listen to the Chinese side’s thoughts at the next meeting as well, when the Chinese side would have examined the Japanese draft in earnest, Vice Minister Han said that he had heard the Japanese side’s explanation on its draft but proposed, “I would like to state the Chinese side’s views and opinions in regard to the draft at the next meeting, following careful study of the draft. I would to end today’s meeting here.”

5. When I replied to this in proposing, “The Japanese side, as the delegation has come here from Tokyo, would like to hold the next meeting on Monday (the 24th), if possible.” Vice Minister Han then replied only with, “I would like to have the next meeting as soon as possible, but how about leaving the scheduling details to the liaison officers of our two sides?” I further proposed, “Even if the Chinese side will not be prepared in regard to the new treaty draft, I would like to state the Japanese side’s thinking in regard to what Vice Minister Han has said today, so I would like to hold the next meeting on Monday.” Vice Minister Han thereupon said, “Then let us ‘provisionally’ decide on holding the next meeting on Monday. Repeated exchanges of opinion are a good thing.”

6. Last, I proposed again consulting on a press statement. Vice Minister Han said, “In the same way as yesterday, we will not touch on the details of today’s meeting. The Japanese side ought to say that today it presented the treaty draft to the Chinese side.” With that, we ended today’s meeting.




総番号 (TA) R052940  5285  主管

78年  月22日19時40分  中国発

78年07月22日21時30分  本省着  アジア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1384号 極秘 大至急




















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