Search in

Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 24, 1978


  • Citation

    get citation

    The delegations discuss the new draft proposed by the Japanese.
    "Cable No. 1398, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (3rd Meeting - Part 2)'," 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.
  • share document


English HTML

Number: (TA) R053161     5303

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, July 24, 1978,   22:20

Received: MOFA, July 24, 1978,   23:51

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiation (3rd Meeting – Part 2)

No. 1398 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1396

1. After I had finished speaking, Vice Minister Han proposed a break. Both sides therefore retired to their respective break rooms. (for a break period of approximately 35 minutes)

2. After the break, Vice Minister Han prefaced his remarks by saying that he had listened carefully to the Ambassador’s statement but would not touch upon it today. He then said the following, based on a prepared manuscript.

(1) Before stating the Chinese side’s formal view in regard to the Japanese side’s new treaty draft, I praise the Japanese side’s putting forth a new draft at our talks two days ago and thank the Japanese side for its cooperative attitude.

(2) The Chinese side examined seriously and in detail the Japanese side’s new draft and Division Director Saito’s explanation concerning it.  The Japanese side’s new draft still does not reflect, concerning the most important issue of the anti-hegemony clause, the spirit and substance of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. Compared to the Joint Statement, it is not “basically in agreement with it,” as the Japanese side says, but extremely far from it. Accordingly, we must clearly state in regard to the expression in the Japanese side’s new draft concerning Clause 3, the anti-hegemony clause, that the Chinese side cannot agree. Of course, concerning other points, such as Clause 2, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, we take note that it has absorbed more of the expression of the Joint Statement in comparison to the drafts to date. Accordingly, we think that the drafts of our two sides can be said to have come closer together on these points and that these points should be appraised.

(3) As I stated concerning the first meeting on the 21st, the cause of these treaty negotiations moving at a snail’s pace and not making progress lies mainly in the issue of the anti-hegemony clause. After considering the Japanese side’s new draft, we felt all the more deeply that the essential issue that these talks are facing is this issue after all. Nor is it the case, of course, that our two sides have reached agreement and that there are no longer any issues concerning the other aspects of the treaty.

(4) However, if we are first able to reach an agreement on the anti-hegemony clause, then it should not be difficult to settle the other issues. Accordingly, in order to move the talks forward, I propose that our two sides first focus our energies and conduct discussions on the issue of the anti-hegemony clause.

(5) We will now state our thinking, with emphasis on Clause 3 of the Japanese side’s new draft.

As the Chinese side has repeatedly made clear, the anti-hegemony clause is an important principle of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and a political basis for developing relations between China and Japan. Developments in the international situation demonstrate more and more the very important and realistic significance of the principle of opposition to hegemony. The anti-hegemony clause is both succinct and clear. It is very logical. Accordingly, we should incorporate it as is into the treaty draft. It will not do to weaken it even a little.

(6) First, I will state my view on the issue of its not being directed against any third country. The first sentence of Clause 3 in the Japanese side’s new draft is, “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country.” In the previous meeting, the Japanese side explained that it would not do to use as is the phrase from the Joint Statement, “normalization of relations,” so you revised it to “this treaty.” It has already been nearly six years since the “normalization of relations,” so it is natural that there is no need to incorporate that phrase as is into the treaty. It was in order to realize the normalization of relations between our two countries that we announced the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. Similarly, concluding the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship is “in order to strengthen and develop relations of peace and friendship between our two countries.” Accordingly, the words corresponding with “normalization of relations” must, without a doubt, be “strengthen and develop relations of peace and friendship between our two countries,” not “this treaty.” Frankly speaking, the issue here is not simply one of a single sentence’s expression. It is an issue related to the spirit and substance of the anti-hegemony clause.

If there is to the anti-hegemony clause an aspect of not being directed against any third country, then there is also an aspect of its being directed. First, we will certainly not proceed from here and turn it against people. If the other party did not seek hegemony, we would not turn the clause against him. On the contrary, we would have to engage harmoniously with him. However, if the other party were to seek hegemony, we would have to oppose him. In this sense, the anti-hegemony clause is also something directed against others. That is to say, it is directed against those who seek hegemony or attempt to seek it. In a word, we are opposed to those who seek hegemony, no matter who they may be. In opposing hegemony, other than binding our two sides, there naturally appears the issue of third parties. Would it not be a self-contradictory way of speaking to talk on the one hand of opposition to hegemony while on the other saying that it is not directed against anyone? Accordingly, “This treaty is not directed against any third country” is not logical. It simply weakens or renders toothless the spirit and substance of the anti-hegemony clause.

(7) Concerning the Japanese side’s expression, “any specific third country,” as well as the previous expression, I have already made frankly clear the Chinese side’s thinking.

I think that the Japanese side’s adding the term “any specific” is “like adding a branch where there is no node.” It is absolutely unnecessary. The anti-hegemony clause does not name any specific country. If someone were to burst forth and complain of it, as though having a guilty conscience, the argument would not hold water.  Why would we have to listen to such a person? Both China and Japan are independent and sovereign nations. It certainly will not do for outsiders to willfully interfere in matters between us. Our objective in concluding this treaty is a fair and upright one. The principle to which we adhere is entirely a just and irreproachable one. The Chinese side has repeatedly said that our two countries, in concluding this treaty, advancing it mainly from a political angle and better conducting these treaty negotiations in focusing on the overall situation and working together, should respond to the ardent hopes of the people in both countries and to the hopes of the people of the Asia-Pacific region and those of far-flung friends.

(8) Next, there is the issue of the regional scope of anti-hegemony. In our view, we think it good to maintain the expression “Asia-Pacific region.” The reason is that, first, China and Japan are both in the Asia-Pacific region, so clearly raising this stands to reason from both a historical and a realistic point of view. Opposition to hegemony is not an issue limited to the Asia-Pacific region. Second, as the expression “Asia-Pacific region” is one used in the Sino-Japanese Join Statement, we think it better not to revise it.

(9) Finally, there is the issue of “in opposition to” and “oppose.” First, this is definitely not only an issue related to the Japanese-language text alone. There is a clear distinction between the two expressions. Not only do the two expressions differ in grammar and structure but, more importantly, their implied meaning is not the same. Accordingly, we cannot say that such a revision is unrelated to the Chinese-language text. Second, the passage in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, “oppose any country or group of countries that seeks to establish hegemony,”  is the result of a rigorous and serious discussion that our two sides conducted. I think that, as it is something that we have decided, we should not revise it.

(10) The Chinese side asks that the Japanese delegation consider the view expressed. At the same time, we hope that a new draft will be put forth.

3. In response, I spoke as follows:

First, from the viewpoint of rapidly advancing the negotiations, I welcome having the Chinese side’s responding so rapidly to the treaty draft that we put forth. It is truly regrettable that we were unable to reach agreement on the anti-hegemony clause, that is, speaking of our side’s treaty draft, on Clause 3. I think that Vice Minister Han’s suggestion just now, that we focus on discussing Clause 3, is fine. I would like to offer our thinking concerning your statement just now, Vice Minister Han, at the next meeting. (In response, Vice Minister Han said that that was fine and agreed to discuss it at the next meeting.) Also, as at the next meeting the two sides would finally take up the treaty in its entirety, I would like to speak concerning the issue of discussing Clause 3 and simultaneously discussing the treaty. That is all I have to say, but how shall we handle the next meeting? Even tomorrow afternoon  would be fine with us.

4. Next, Vice Minister Han said the following:

As I indicated in my statement just now, the Chinese side welcomes the Japanese side’s having put forth a new treaty draft. However, there are a number of problems with the Japanese side’s draft and we cannot agree to it. Study is needed. At the same time, other than the issue of the anti-hegemony clause, there is also a need to talk about some other issues. However, I pointed out in my statement just now that they would not be difficult to resolve.  The main issue is that of the anti-hegemony clause. As I concluded just a moment ago, together with requesting that the Japanese side consider my view in detail, I welcome the putting forth of a new draft that our side will be able to consider further.

5. Lastly, both sides agreed to hold the fourth meeting tomorrow at three o’clock in the afternoon.




総番号 (TA) R053161  5303  主管

78年  月24日22時20分  中国発

78年07月24日23時51分  本省着  アジア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1398号 極秘 大至急



















先ず第1に、われわれの提出した条約案に対して中国側の反応をかくも早く出していただいたことに交渉を早く進ちよくさせるとの見地からかん迎する。反は権条項、即ちわが方の条約案で言えば第3条に関して同意がえられなかつたことは誠に残念なことである。ただ今、韓副部長よりわれわれの努力を主として第3条の討議に集中するという御提案があつたが、私は結構であると思う。韓副部長のただ今の発言に関するわれわれの考え方は、次の会談で述べることと致したい。(これに対して韓副部長は、結構である。この次討論しようと述べた。) また、この次の会談ではいよいよ条約全体の話に入るわけであるから、第3条の討議の問題と同時に条約の討議のやり方についても、われわれの考えを述べさせていただきたいと思う。私の発言は以上であるが、次回会談をどうするか。わが方としては、明日の午後でも結構である。







It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to view the PDF file in a new window.

PDFs cannot be printed inline in the page. To print a PDF, you must first download the file and open it in a PDF viewer.