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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 24, 1978


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    The delegations address diplomatic relations with the United States and the Soviet Union during negotiations.
    "Cable No. 1396, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (3rd Meeting - Part 1)'," July 24, 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) R053132     5301

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, July 24, 1978,   20:07

Received: MOFA, July 24, 1978,   21:32

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (3rd Meeting – Part 1)

No. 1396 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1384

Following is a summary of the third meeting, which took place for approximately two hours and twenty minutes, between 3:00 and 5:20 (including a break period of 35 minutes), on the afternoon of the 24th. (The place of the meeting and the participants were the same as for the first meeting.)

Vice Minister Han started by saying that he wished to ask my opinion as to which side to let speak first. I answered that, as there had been an agreement on that the last time, the Japanese side would like to speak first. I began the talks. Following are the details of what I said:

At the second meeting on the 22nd last week, you spoke, Vice Minister Han, on the Chinese side’s outlook. Today, please allow me to state succinctly once again the Japanese side’s thinking.

First, relations between Japan and the United States occupy a special status in our country’s diplomatic policy. We appraise the Chinese side for having stated its understanding in regard to our holding firm to the Japan-US security treaty system. At the same time, we also attach importance to the Chinese side’s having said – in regard to our country’s efforts to maintain and develop friendly relations with any country as our basic foreign policy – that it understands the policy as Japan’s wish. We intend to continue these efforts. One may say that our country has made Japan-US relations the axis of our country’s foreign policy, but it goes without saying that we do not consider relations between Japan and China as trifling or any such thing. We consider the maintaining of peaceful and friendly relations between Japan and China a major pillar in our country’s diplomacy. It is for that very reason that the Government of Japan desires to conclude as soon as possible a treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China. We have been making efforts for it, as you know.

Our country has worked to maintain and develop friendly relations with any country. The Government of Japan has never referred to this as equidistant diplomacy.  It goes without saying that there is in reality a place of emphasis in Japan’s diplomacy as well. Also, in considering our country’s need to hold firm to the Japan-US Security Treaty system, we are under no illusion as to the source of the real threat to Japan.

Vice Minister Han, you said that the important thing in the talks for the treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China is to confirm the points in common between Japan and China. We agree entirely with this. We consider the position of not seeking hegemony and opposing any other country or group of countries attempting to seek hegemony to be a point in common between Japan and China. Furthermore, Vice Minister Han, you said that in that case there would be nothing to do but to resist it. We do not deny that. It is simply that we think that Japan and China adopt their own respective positions in taking a position of opposition to attempts and acts of seeking hegemony and that Japan and China do not have to take joint action.

In addition, we thank you, Vice Minister Han, for having stated for reference China’s view, based on experience, its attitude toward the Soviet Union.

Japan, too, has had various experiences over many years in regard to relations with the Soviet Union. I think that you understood what I said at the first meeting. It is definitely not that we have adopted a weak-kneed attitude. Our policy is one of continuing our country’s just claims on each issue with a resolute attitude. However, it is not a policy of confrontation but one of seeking to maintain correct relations that makes clear what is right and what is wrong. I take note of your saying that China does not oppose Japan’s maintaining correct relations with the Soviet Union.

Finally, Vice Minister Han, in the last part of what you said on the 22nd, you started with a “‘any specific third country’ appeared time and again” in my remarks of the 21st, then said  “there is no need to use ‘any specific third country.’” I will state my view on this point as follows:

In my remarks of the 21st, I used the phrase “any specific third country” three times. It has various meanings, which are not at all the same. That is to say:

I said that, “The Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China would not regard a ‘any specific third country’ with hostility, and that we are not concluding the treaty against it.” This is a natural conclusion, led by our setting as the treaty’s sole objective, as stated in the Japan-China Joint Communique, the solidifying and developing of relations of peace and friendship between Japan and China. I would not mind substituting here “any third country” for a “any specific third country.”

Next, I said that, “We reject the slander that Japan and China oppose attempts to establish hegemony.” Here, frankly speaking, a “any specific third country” is the Soviet Union. As you said, Vice Minister Han, “this treaty does not refer to the Soviet Union by name,” so I said that “we reject such a malicious statement.”

Third, I said that, “Opposition to hegemony by no means points in advance to a ‘any specific third country.’” “Opposition to hegemony is making clear that opposition to hegemony is opposing any attempt by any country or group of countries to establish hegemony,” so it is not as if would be fine if we simply specify some third country and adopt the position of opposition to that country’s to attempt to establish hegemony.




総番号 (TA) R053132  5301  主管

78年  月24日20時07分  中国発

78年07月24日21時32分  本省着  アジア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1396号 極秘 大至急




















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