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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 07, 1978


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    The Chinese delegation feels that the Japanese are talking and leaking information about the treaty.
    "Cable No. 1569, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (13th Meeting)'," August 07, 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) R056512     5578

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, August 7, 1978, 19:28

Received: MOFA, August 7, 1978, 20:49

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (13th Meeting)

No. 1569 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

The 13th negotiation meeting started at the request of the other side from 4:00 pm and went without a break until 4:45. In response to the proposal that I would be accompanied to the meeting only by the interpreter, the other said that he would take along Deputy Director Wang Xiaoyun. Therefore, our side took along China Division Director Tajima. The interpreter from our side was [name blacked out]; from the other side, it was Lu Qi. A summary of the meeting’s main points is as follows:

1. When I asked Vice Minister Han about his health, he replied that he felt a little tired. Next, when I expressed thanks for the prompt handling of the various arrangements despite the sudden request for Foreign Minister Sonoda to visit China, the Vice Minister  answered that it was natural and that our two sides would both now be busy in preparing for the visit.

2. In addition, I said the following:

(1) We have held repeated meetings for a long time, but I would like for us to do as much as possible before the Minister’s visit to China. In regard to the draft that our side put forth previously, the Chinese side said that there were various problems with it and that it was not a good draft. We are putting forth again two drafts with revised language, so we would like the Chinese side’s understanding and consideration of them. (At this point, I read aloud the two drafts, per instructions of the Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General’s telegram No. 1044.) The home government has high expectations, so I would like you to consider them.

(2) It is extremely regrettable that, because Zhang Xiangshan the other day made a statement on the treaty issue, it has become difficult for our home government to consider the Chinese draft. Just as the Chinese side said the appearance in the press of the Japanese draft, with its “not directed against any specific third country,” made it impossible to accept it, so the description to the outside of the Chinese side’s draft has made it difficult for our side to accept the Chinese side’s draft. It is extremely regrettable that the substance of the treaty negotiations was leaked to the outside. Next, there may be more instructions today from the home government, so I would like to continue the meeting tomorrow.

3. In response, the gist of what Vice Minister Han said is as follows:

Regarding the first issue that the Ambassador mentioned, the Chinese side has already stated its view. We think that the Chinese draft is a relatively good one and the most appropriate one but, as the Japanese side has put forth another two drafts, we will consider them.

Regarding the second issue, we have a different view of it. First, Zhang Xiangshan’s statement is not equal to making the Chinese side’s draft public. Second, when friends of China and Japan meet one another, in a great many cases the Japanese side has been the first to begin talking about the treaty issue. Even in such cases, the Chinese side has either only spoken simply or not at all. Third, Zhang Xiangshan is neither a government official nor a diplomat. Simply, as vice president of the China-Japan Friendship Association, he has an interest in the treaty negotiations, and it is hard for him to avoid saying something. However, because Zhang Xiangshan is not a Foreign Ministry official, it is not the case that he knows the details of the treaty negotiations. However, because he is director of the Central Broadcasting Bureau, one cannot say that he knows nothing at all about them. Ambassador, you said that this issue was extremely regrettable, but we feel that the Japanese side’s quickly leaking what we discussed with one another has caused a great deal of trouble. We have also discussed this with you, Ambassador Sato, but you said that it could not be helped. There have been remarkably many cases of the Japanese side not keeping secrets and leaking them. Also, Zhang Xiangshan was not mistaken in what he said. Accordingly, I think that there is no reason for the Japanese side to think that the handling of this issue has become difficult or to find it regrettable. I read the press and listen to the radio every day. The Japanese press and radio very frequently report on the treaty negotiation issue, taking it up day and night these past 10 days or so. On the Chinese side, neither the People’s Daily nor the radio has been mentioning the substance of the negotiations. The Japanese press has reported a great deal of things that are unrelated to the facts, that are different from the facts, or that are conjecture. However, we have not raised this issue with the Ambassador. We have already grown accustomed to such things, so we have brought up little of this with the Ambassador. There has even been fabrication in this reporting. For example, in a broadcast the day before yesterday, it was reported that I said something that I did not say. Accordingly, in regard to this issue, I think it unnecessary and without foundation for the Japanese side to say that it has made handling matters difficult or that it is regrettable.

4. I replied that I knew that it was not discussed even when Vice Premier Li Xiannian met [name blacked out]. Also, when I said that I personally had not spoken of the substance of the treaty negotiations, Vice Minister Han said: It is Japanese friends visiting China who ask about the treaty, so it would not do to say nothing at all about it; the Japanese side seems to have more difficulty in keeping secrets; and we have become accustomed to it, so I will not say anything further about it.

5. I then said that I, too, would say nothing further about it but, as I was responsible for the negotiations, emphasized that I was extremely troubled by it. Furthermore, in regard to tomorrow’s meeting, I said that I wished to contact him again tomorrow morning. He answered that that would be fine, ending the meeting.




総番号 (TA) R056512  5578  主管

78年  月07日19時28分 中国発

78年08月07日20時49分 本省着   ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1569号 極秘 大至急














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