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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 01, 1978


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    The delegations discuss word choice and what policy sentiments should be in the treaty.
    "Cable No. 1464, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (7th Meeting)'," August 01, 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) R054921     5425

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, August 01, 1978,  00:30

Received: MOFA, August 01, 1978,  02:13

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (7th Meeting)

No. 1464 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram No. 1448

On the 31st, the seventh meeting took place for two hours and 20 minutes, from 3:00 to 5:20 pm (including a break period of approximately 35 minutes from 3:45). A summary of its main points is as follows: (place and participants were the same as at the first meeting)

1. At the start, Vice Minister Han said: It is my turn to host the meeting, but I would like to talk with you about which of us speaks first. I thus requested to speak first. I spoke as per separate telegram.

2. In response, Vice Minister Han spoke from a text prepared in advance as follows:

(1) Since the start of treaty negotiations, three and a half years have passed. Eleven days have passed since the start of these talks here. I have never doubted that friends of the Japanese side hope for an agreement in these negotiations. I believe that everyone – from former Ambassador Ogawa to Ambassador Sato, and from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to all the colleagues at the Embassy of Japan in Beijing – is hoping for this treaty’s early conclusion.

(2) Today is the eleventh day since these negotiations started on the 21st. To date, we have held five plenary meetings and one unofficial meeting. Both the Chinese and Japanese sides have expressed relatively fully their respective viewpoints and positions and have seriously examined the views of the other side. Above all, we have carried out a relatively thorough searching of views on the issue of the anti-hegemony clause. This is useful for promoting mutual understanding and beneficial as well for more deeply discussing the treaty negotiations.

(3) Accordingly, one can say that the meetings to date have been significant and have obtained results, so we should acknowledge that. Of course, this is the result of efforts on both sides. However, speaking from a spirit of seeking what is right on the basis of fact,  the difference of opinion of our two sides on the issue of the anti-hegemony clause is still very large. At the same time, we should recognize that there are also, after all, not a few points in common.

(4) The Ambassador, in the unofficial meeting of the 28th, enumerated five points common to both sides. The Chinese side has examined and analyzed the statements these past few days. I would like to speak of these points in common, which I have put together and organized.

(a) First, the Chinese and Japanese sides, in concluding the treaty of peace and friendship, strengthening and developing the relations of peace and friendship between both countries, do not intend to prejudice the interests of third countries

(b) Second, neither the Chinese nor the Japanese side seeks hegemony. Both sides oppose any third country or group of countries that seeks hegemony. Both sides oppose anyone who seeks hegemony.

(c) Third, both the Chinese and Japanese sides have the desire to maintain and develop good-neighborly and friendly relations with all countries but have no choice but to resist those that seek hegemony.

(d) Fourth, the Chinese side and the Japanese side has adopted its own independent diplomatic policy and will not interfere in the internal affairs of the other.   Neither side will be affected by external forces unhappy with the conclusion of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

(e) Fifth, both sides feel the existence of a real threat. In regard to such a threat, the Chinese side does not think that it comes from Japan, and the Japanese side does not think that it comes from China.

(5) Each of our two sides has five points for its assembled points in common but, in view of a part of their contents, there remain differences in the opinions of our two sides. To offer and explain one example, in the fourth point of the Japanese side, in regard to “this treaty does not name the Soviet Union,” the name of the Soviet Union does not appear, whether in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement or in the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship,. No country whatsoever is named, so would it not be that it not even a question of naming the Soviet Union? One could say that this is less a point in common to our two sides than it is a place where there exists a difference of opinion between our two sides. This point of the Japanese side is not one with which we can agree.

(6) As I said in the meeting of the 27th, we recognize that there exist differences of opinion on both sides and, at the same time, the objective of affirming the points in common to both sides lies in finding a solution in focusing on the overall situation, expanding points in common, and reducing differences in opinion on the basis of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. Therefore, we look forward now, too, to the Japanese side continuing to put forth a definitely feasible new treaty draft.

3. Following Vice Minister Han’s statement, both sides proposed taking a break, then took a break of approximately 35 minutes.

4. After the meeting resumed, Vice Minister Han said the following as the statement of the Chinese side:

(1) Ambassador Sato, in your statement some time ago, you said that it was necessary to put the thinking of Japan’s diplomatic policy in this treaty. As we see it, however, whether we speak of the joint statement or the treaty between our two countries, both must reflect the points in common or points of agreement of both sides. If not, with one side demanding the reflection of its own diplomatic policy in the treaty and the other side demanding the reflection of its own policy, it would only serve to complicate the issue.

(2) For example, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, announced on September 29, 1972, is a document that reflects the points in common to the Chinese and Japanese sides. If only we truly held firm to the principle of the Joint Statement and made a basis of the Joint Statement, the issue would not be a difficult one to settle.

(3) The Ambassador having said that it is necessary to put the thinking of Japan’s diplomatic policy in this treaty, what I would like to ask here is: What new idea or concrete view is there on the Japanese side?

5. In response, I said the following:

(1) There are two points that I would like to raise in regard to Vice Minister Han’s statement. First,  Vice Minister Han spoke of Japan’s “diplomatic diplomacy,” but what I mentioned some time ago was “what emerges from Japan’s diplomatic posture.” Accordingly, it does not have the same kind of meaning as pressing diplomatic policy itself. However, Vice Minister Han stated that he understands that posture as Japan’s desire. I said that we would like to talk with the Chinese side regarding the thinking that comes from this.

(2) The second issue is that Vice Minister Han asked whether the Japanese side intended to put forth some new proposal. I would say that, in these negotiations, the Japanese side has already put forth a draft that we consider ideal. Therefore, as I requested some time ago, I would like to have from the Chinese side a proposal in a form that the Chinese side could accept.

(3) So, as I think you probably noticed, in the statement that I made some time ago, I said that it was “necessary to put somewhere in the treaty this sort of (as in Sentence 1 of Article 3) thinking.” Please take note of it.

6. In response, Vice Minister Han said the following:

(1) I only raised one issue. A little while ago Your Excellency the Ambassador said that it was “necessary to put the thinking of Japan’s diplomatic policy in this treaty,” but if we are going to have something reflected in the treaty, we must have reflected something from both the Japanese and Chinese sides. For example, the Japan-China Joint Communique at least reflects the points in common to the views of both sides. It has to be the same as our having handled relations between our two countries since the announcement of the Joint Communique on the principle and foundation of this document.

(2) Of course, I understand that the Ambassador saying that he would like to see Japan’s policy reflected in the treaty is not saying that we will not reflect the Chinese side’s view in it.

(3) I am asking the Ambassador whether he has some concrete idea or view on how we would reflect it.

7. In response, I answered as follows:

Just now Vice Minister Han used the words “Japan’s diplomatic policy,” but the words “diplomatic policy” are off the mark. In any case, writing into the treaty something reflecting Japan’s thinking is, naturally, only possible with the agreement of the Chinese side. It is also the case that Japan can also, naturally, write into the treaty the Chinese side’s thinking with which we can agree. Accordingly, in whether to write in this point or not, we have absolutely no intention of pressing something that the Chinese side finds objectionable. For the Japanese side, it would be better to have something, so I would like to ask what could obtain the agreement of the Chinese side.

8. In response, Vice Minister Han spoke as follows:

(1) I understood what the Japanese side said regarding “diplomatic posture.” In short, I think that there is no problem regarding writing it into the treaty if each side practices its own respective diplomatic policy and neither interferes in the internal affairs of the other. We will reflect in an equal and identical way each side’s diplomatic policy. It would be something like this, right?

(2) Some time ago the Ambassador spoke of reflecting diplomatic posture. (At this point he asked what “shisei” was in English; I answered, “posture.”) Accordingly, if you have some concrete idea there, I would like to ask what it is.

9. In response, I said: “Some time ago I asked the Chinese side to put forth something because our side had put out a draft that we thought ideal. The Chinese side said regarding the Japanese side’s draft that it would not work as is, so I would like to ask what kind of form the Chinese side’s thinks would be good.

Vice Minister Han then said: I think that it would be no problem to examine the Japanese side’s draft and, at the same time, to pull together the Chinese side’s thinking and put forth a draft that could be considered ideal by both the Japanese and Chinese sides.  However, the issue that is a headache and troublesome, the focus, is the phrase in Sentence 1, Article 3, of the Japanese side’s treaty draft: “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country.” This is a point where each side has a different view.  This has become the main issue.

10. In response, I said: The Japanese side, too, feels absolutely the same way concerning it being the main point. Accordingly, it is not a case of here or there in the treaty. I would like, then, to have the Chinese side in regard to this point make a proposal on which we could agree. Vice Minister Han then repeated: “The issue is Sentence 1, Article 3 of the Japanese side’s draft.” After that, he said: “As I have said repeatedly already, we cannot agree with such a statement of the Japanese side. If you do not adopt this way of expressing it, we should discuss together finding a way out (note: chulu).

11. Hearing this, I said the following:

This is an odd allegory for it, but this is like a school student answering a teacher’s question. The student has given what he thinks is the best answer, but the teacher tells him it is wrong and tells him to give him a new one. It is impossible for the student, although told to do so, to give a new answer. It is impossible if the teacher does not tell the student where the problem is, because the student himself put together what he thought was the best answer.

12. In response, Vice Minister Han said the following as an added point:

This is my proposal, and another idea. The issue of the anti-hegemony clause’s first sentence, “This treaty is not directed against any specific third country,” is not simply something that we have disputed these past few days but something that we have disputed these past few years. The only thing different recently is the insertion of the term “particular.” In these past few days, both sides in their statements have repeatedly said “we will oppose anyone who seeks hegemony, no matter whom.” I think that this is the unanimous position of both sides. To put it the other way, it is not directed against any country or group of countries that does not seek hegemony. However, it means that it is directed against any country or group of countries that seeks hegemony.  The expression of Sentence 1, Article 3, of the Japanese side’s draft does not reflect this viewpoint upon which both sides have agreed.

If the Japanese side wants to hold firm to making “this treaty” the subject, we propose putting it in the rear of the anti-hegemony clause. That is to say,  our proposal is to place this sentence from the original Chinese draft, “Both sides state once more that our two countries should not seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and will oppose any country or group of countries that seeks to establish hegemony,” in the front of the sentence with “this treaty” as the subject. Then, we would change the sentence with “this treaty” as the subject to “This treaty is not directed against any third country that does not seek hegemony. (Ben tiaoyue bu shi zhen dui bumouqiu baquan de disanguo/本条約不是針対不謀求覇権的第三国)]. How would that be?

13. In response, I said: “Thank you for your statement. This is something new, and it is an important proposal, so I would like to fully examine it and give you our answer at tomorrow’s meeting. Vice Minister Han then replied that that was “fine.” I then verified to the effect: “I would like to ask the Chinese side’s thinking on discussing issues other than the anti-hegemony clause.”

14. In response, Vice Minister Han said the following:

As I said in my last statement, the main issue is the anti-hegemony clause. It is not that there are no differences of opinion on the other issues, but they are not difficult to resolve. In other words, they are issues that are easy to resolve.

I think that the point common to both sides is “We will oppose anyone who seeks hegemony, no matter whom.” This actually conforms with, and faithfully expresses, the spirit of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. This is a point in common with which the Japanese side, too, agreed. Accordingly, wherever in the treaty appears Sentence 1, Article 3, of the Japanese draft, it is prejudicial to the principle and substance of the Joint Statement, and we cannot agree with it. To do so would be a retreat from the basis of the Joint Statement.

15. In response, I said, “Unable to obtain agreement on the point of discussing issues other than that of the anti-hegemony clause, I will not raise it any more.” Vice Minister Han then stated: “I would like to discuss issues other than the anti-hegemony clause after this. In any case, tomorrow I would like to hear from the Japanese side a response to today’s proposal  of the Chinese side.” I therefore said in conclusion: “I would like to respond at tomorrow’s meeting to the Chinese side’s statement prior to today’s break and to the Chinese side’s proposal following that break. Both sides agreed to hold the eighth meeting tomorrow at 3 pm. The meeting then ended.




総番号 (TA) R054921  5425  主管

78年  月01日00時30分  中国発

78年08月01日02時13分  本省着  アジア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1464号 極秘 大至急



















































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