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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 27, 1978


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    A negotiation of word usage when expressing anti-hegemony in the Treaty.
    "Cable No. 1433, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (5th Meeting, Part I)'," July 27, 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) R054127     5355

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, July 27, 1978,   23:55

Received: MOFA, July 28, 1978,   01:24

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (5th Meeting – Part 1)

No. 1433 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1407

On the afternoon of the 27th, from 3 until 6 o’clock, for a period of three hours (including a break period of 40 minutes), we held the fifth meeting. A summary of its main points is as follows: (The place of the meeting and the participants were the same as for the first meeting.)

1. Vice Minister Han, after starting by saying that he wished to speak first and asking for our side’s understanding, said the following on the basis of a text prepared in advance.

(1) The Ambassador spoke in the meeting the day before yesterday of the Japanese side’s thinking in regard to the Chinese side’s statement of the 24th. We considered the Ambassador’s statement seriously and in detail. As I said at the end of the meeting the day before yesterday, the gap between us on the main issue, that is to say, the issue of the anti-hegemony clause, is still very large. There are also a number of points that the Ambassador made with which we cannot agree. I would now like to state the Chinese side’s thinking.

(2) First, then, I will speak concerning the issue that “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country.” The Chinese side has repeatedly made clear its view regarding the relationship between the concluding of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and third countries. It is: 1. China and Japan’s concluding a treaty and solidifying and developing the relations of peace and friendship between our two countries is not prejudicial to the interests of third countries. 2. The China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, incorporating the anti-hegemony clause, first binds both China and Japan; at the same time, it is directed against any third country that seeks hegemony or attempt it. By no means is it directed against any country that does not seek hegemony. 3. The concluding of a treaty between China and Japan is the affair of our two countries. By no means can we accept any faulting or willful disturbance of it by any third country.

(3) Unfortunately, however, this view of the Chinese side even now has not obtained the correct understanding of the Japanese side. The Ambassador in his statement the day before yesterday was still adhering to the expression, “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country,” and saying that this declaration of the Japanese side was not a self-contradiction with opposition to hegemony. However, the anti-hegemony clause is one of the main contents of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, so it goes without saying that the Japanese side’s “this treaty” is a matter of course and contained in the anti-hegemony clause.

(4) Frankly speaking, it is clear to anyone that the Japanese side’s replacing the subject “This is not directed against any third country” with “this treaty,” is an attempt to say that the anti-hegemony clause is not directed against any third country. We have explained that if there is the aspect of the anti-hegemony clause not being directed against any third country, there is also the aspect of its being directed. The Japanese side, too, in its statement of the 25th recognized there being to opposition to hegemony the aspect of direction against a third country. Clearly, is it not a self-contradiction to recognize on the one hand that the anti-hegemony clause has an aspect of direction against a third country while, on the other hand, saying that “this treaty,” which contains the main content of the anti-hegemony clause, “is not directed against any third country”?

(5) Perhaps the Japanese side would say that the Japanese side’s declaration is “not directed against any specific third country,” but the declaration “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country” is self-contradictory and illogical, so we cannot agree with it. In the same way, we cannot agree with the declaration “it is not directed against any third country.” As we clearly said in our statement of the 22nd, the Japanese side’s “any specific third country” is a synonym for the Soviet Union. This is common knowledge at present, so there is no need for further explanation.

(6) In the Ambassador’s statements of the 24th and 25th, you emphasized repeatedly that opposition to hegemony must not specify in advance a certain third country and that, if there were someone seeking hegemony, no matter whom, one would be opposed to it. It sounds reasonable but, in thinking about it, one understands that such thinking does not hold up. As we see it, the problem of specifying in advance simply does not exist. Is it not clear to everyone who it is now who is in the Asia-Pacific region seeking hegemony; who is attempting it; who, relying on force, is always threatening others; and who is arbitrarily and unreasonably pushing upon others its own ideas?

(7) The Sino-Japanese Joint Statement’s stipulated principle of opposition to hegemony is not at all some specified fabrication subjectively made up in advance. The Chinese side is facing the realistic threat of hegemonism. The Ambassador said on the 24th that he was under no illusion as to the source of the real threat to Japan. As a third country really is threatening us, how could one speak of specifying in advance a certain third country? Why would one not face reality while being clearly threatened? Of course, China does not intend to suggest that the Japanese side unreasonably accept all the Chinese side’s viewpoints on the issue of opposition to hegemony. Joint action, military alliance, and the like are all the more out of the question. However, maintaining and defending the spirit and principle of the Joint Statement is the common responsibility of our two sides. The Chinese side will absolutely not retreat from the Joint Statement’s position.

(8) In sum, the Chinese side cannot agree with the declarations “this treaty” and “any specific country” in Sentence 1, Article 3 of the Japanese draft. What I would like to explain carefully to the Japanese side is that this by no means relates to an issue of phrasing but a real issue of whether or not to truly adhere to the principle of opposition to hegemony, a real issue pertaining to maintaining and defending the spirit and substance of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and an issue of a determination to truly improve relations between China and Japan. What I am telling the Ambassador and Japanese friends is that there is no room for the Chinese side to compromise in this kind of issue of principle. Speaking clearly and to the point, have not negotiations been moving at a snail’s pace and not progressing for more than three years due to none other than this issue? I request that the Japanese side seriously reexamine our view.

(9) Next, in regard to the issue of “oppose” and “opposed to” and that of adding the expression “any other region” after “the Asia-Pacific region,” I think that the Japanese side well knows the Chinese side’s thinking after the Chinese side’s statement of the 24th, so I will not repeat it here.

(10) Before ending my statement, I will state a little more my view and request the Japanese side’s consideration of it. We should recognize that the differences on the anti-hegemony issue are still very large and, at the same time, that there are quite a few points in common between us. We hope, for the sake of negotiations progressing more effectively, that the Japanese side, when considering the views of the Chinese side, really do so on the basis of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, put effort into expanding points in common in seeking common ground while putting away differences, find solutions, and put forth a sound and practical new draft.

2. After the end of Vice Minister Han’s statement, I proposed a break. We then went on break for approximately 40 minutes.

3. After the break, I spoke as follows:

We listened attentively to Vice Minister Han’s statement just now. Regrettably, however, as it is thought that the Japanese side’s thinking has not been fully understood by the Chinese side, I will speak briefly of our side’s thinking in repeating the two views that we consider the most important.

First, Vice Minister Han said that it is clear that replacing the subject of Sentence 1, Article 3 with “this treaty” is an attempt to say that it is not directed against any third country. However, as I said on the 25th, we adopt a position of opposition to any country that seeks hegemony or attempts it, which does not at all contradict the treaty itself not being directed against any specific third country. In other words, this treaty’s not being directed against any specific third country is consistent with the condition of the anti-hegemony clause’s containing the aspect of direction against a third country. Furthermore, speaking clearly, I think that in the case of a country that seeks hegemony, opposition to such an attempt and specifying in advance a third country and confronting it are not the same thing.

Second, concerning “any specific,” Vice Minister Han said that it is clear who now in Asia seeks hegemony or is attempting it. I am not thinking here to debate the perception of the actual world situation. However, this treaty is something to widely sing at the top of one’s voice: a treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China that should be passed down from generation to generation. Considering this, we cannot here consider in regard to the principle of opposition to hegemony its application to the Soviet Union alone. I think it necessary to make clear that, if there were any country seeking hegemony, we would oppose it. The Japanese proposal truly makes this point clear.




総番号 (TA) R054127  5355  主管

78年  月27日23時55分  中国発

78年07月28日01時24分  本省着  ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1433号 極秘 大至急






















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