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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 10, 1978


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    Japanese and Chinese discuss the relationship between the two countries and express interest in a continued partnership.
    "Cable No. 1608, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (2nd Ministerial Meeting)'," August 10, 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 Steven Mercado.
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Number: (TA) R057275     5644

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, August 10, 1978, 03:30

Received: MOFA, August 10, 1978, 05:57

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (2nd Ministerial Meeting)

No. 1608 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

The second meeting took place on the 9th, from 4:20 until 5:20 pm (with a break of 15 minutes). Following is a record of it. (Participants were the same as in the 1st meeting, following the break.)

1. At the start, Minister Huang Hua said: Following your statement this morning, Minister, I would like to state the Chinese side’s attitude. He then said the following:

(1) The hegemony article of the treaty of peace and friendship, first of all, is binding on the Chinese and Japanese sides. The Chinese and Japanese sides have declared that they will not seek hegemony. That is the way it is, not only now but in the future, even if the economy develops.  This attitude of China has become well known among the peoples of Asia and the world. Writing this into the treaty is an expression of China’s determination not to seek hegemony.

(2) In Your Excellency the Foreign Minister’s statement this morning, there was a reference to the attitude of the Southeast Asian countries. Certainly, the Southeast Asian countries are interested in the treaty negotiations and desire the treaty’s conclusion. Their welcoming the treaty’s conclusion is because of the real threat of Soviet socialist imperialism and, next, because they have doubts about Japan arising from historical circumstances. The Southeast Asian countries, the same as China, suffered imperialist invasion and losses. That is why they are wary of the Soviet Union and understand China’s opposition to hegemonism. Regarding Japan, frankly speaking, they are naturally uneasy about a reappearance of Japanese militarism. That is why China has repeatedly said to all the Japanese friends that the conclusion of the treaty, including the anti-hegemony clause, is beneficial to Japan for improving its image. What we are saying conforms to reality, and we are saying it to Japan from a friendly position.

(3) Minister, you also touched on the viewpoint of the Japanese people.  Your Excellency also spoke of opposition to hegemony taking root among the people since the issuing of the Joint Statement. We think that what Your Excellence is saying is that the principle of opposition to hegemony has been nurtured and observed broadly by the Japanese people. We consider the early conclusion of the treaty on the basis of the Joint Statement to be in conformity with the desires and interests of the peoples of the two countries. However, we also know that some in Japan oppose it. It is no wonder that, anywhere in the world, there are some opposed to what is good and right. However, it is only a handful of people who are opposed to this. Honestly speaking, they are not opposed to the conclusion of the treaty; it is Sino-Japanese friendship and the normalization of relations that they oppose. They do not represent the will of the peoples of the two countries. If Japan’s statesmen represent these persons, then they will be in opposition to the will of the majority of the people. Yielding to a handful of persons would be betraying a large number of people.

(4) We know that Your Excellency the Foreign Minister has consistently taken a positive attitude since assuming his position. Your Excellency this morning again expressed enthusiasm for the treaty’s conclusion. The Chinese side applauds Your Excellency’s efforts on this. Fourteen meetings have already taken place between Sato and Han Nianlong. They have shown a certain progress.  The two sides have put forth new drafts on opposition to hegemony, and the views of the two sides have gradually been growing closer. Here, Your Excellency the Foreign Minister and all the Japanese friends, in order to bring the talks of our two sides to a conclusion at a stroke, I agree in principle with the Japanese side’s draft of August 7. That is to say, the proposal is to make Sentence 1 of the anti-hegemony article “The present Treaty shall not affect the position of either Contracting Party regarding its relations with third countries.” This is again an expression of China’s effort to conclude the treaty. Regarding the concrete expression of the provisions, there may be some minor issues remaining, but these are not difficult issues to settle. I would like to have Sato and Han Nianlong do the work on them. With the agreement of Your Excellency the Foreign Minister, together with Your Excellency the Foreign Minister I would like to wish success for the Sato Han Nianlong talks.

2. Minister Huang, by reason of necessity, exceeded the proposed break of 10 minutes. After a break of 15 minutes, the Minister spoke as follows:

(1) I have taken action consistently for the past 20 years on issues between Japan and China. Before the establishment of the Dietmen’s League for Japan-China Friendship, I had run in the Japanese magazine Chuo Koron an article calling for ties between Japan and China. I said that unconditionally following the United States would lead to Japan’s isolation in Asia. I was therefore brought up before the Liberal Democratic Party’s Discipline Committee and strongly criticized. When, unexpectedly, I assumed the post of foreign minister, I felt that concluding a friendship treaty between Japan and China could never be accomplished if not by me. My consistent acts as foreign minister are well known in Japan. Since assuming this post, I have gone to various countries and taken action.  During that time, everywhere I have taken action in aid of China and for the good of the struggle against hegemony. I really went to great lengths to make this visit to China. If we do not succeed at this time to conclude the treaty, then relations between Japan and China will hereafter stagnate for a considerable period of time. The ASEAN countries will then be unable to cooperate with Japan and China and contribute to peace and prosperity. For such reasons, I have come to China at this time in staking my purpose in life and destiny. I have come to stake my life as a Japanese politician on it. This desire of mine arises, as a Japanese politician, from loving your country, loving Japan even more, and loving Asia, as well as from reflecting on the war. I offer my profound gratitude for Your Excellency the Minister’s recent statement having moved greatly in the direction of a settlement. I highly value Your Excellency the Minister and Your Excellency Han Nianlong for truly making a decision for the future of Japan, China, and Asia. If this treaty is settled, I will directly inform the Japanese people, inform them myself and on my own responsibility, that coming to this settlement is an expression of friendship on the part of the Chinese friends, of the Chinese people towards Japan and that the settlement is truly due to the decision made for the sake of peace in Asia. This is what I intend to convey directly to the Japanese friends. I express here approval for the recent proposal of Your Excellency the Minister and wish to have the draft hammered out between Han and Sato.

(2) In addition, I would like to say a bit more in regard to your view, Minister. First, quite frankly, I, as a friend, am happy about Japan receiving straightforward admonishments. I completely agree in regard to the Soviet threat. As for Southeast Asia’s doubts and unease regarding Japan, regrettably, this is also something on which I have reflected. At the recent ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting , too, I took particular note of this point. Henceforth, too, I would like to express, in good faith and in practice, to China and to Southeast Asia that we will seek Japan’s course in the prosperity of China and Southeast Asia. I would like to express in practice henceforth that Japanese militarism will not appear again.

(3) It is true that in Japan there are some opponents. However, in Japanese opinion polls, only close to 30 percent are in favor of unconditionally concluding the treaty. The rest, the people of the so-called cautious faction, know well that friendship between Japan and China is Asia’s foundation. However, these people worry whether concluding the Japan-China treaty is really for the sake of the development of the two countries and the peace of Asia, or whether Japan will be dragged into China’s strategy against the Soviet Union. With the conclusion of this friendship treaty, this unease will probably be swept away. I believe that when our two countries genuinely join hands and the countries of Southeast Asia, seeing this, fall in step, the struggle against hegemony will truly become effective. I firmly believe that the fight against hegemony is not only for the present situation but, extending forever into the future, the struggle against hegemony should be continued from various positions. We do not, caught up in what is before us, make an opponent of one country alone. Such a treaty between Japan and China would become a treaty in name only, not something for all time. On the treaty’s conclusion, there will be various problems for Japan as well. Therefore, we will need China’s help as well.  However, your country, too, has various problems. In that case, I will visit China at any time. Also, I will ask you to come over to Japan from your country. My thinking is to cooperate and handle matters so as not to allow any scorn from another country.

3. Following that, the Minister stated that he wished for Sato and Han Nianlong to cooperate in their talks. The Ambassador stated: I would like to set the talks tomorrow for whatever time would be convenient. Minister Huang acknowledged this.

4. Further, the ambassador stated that, as this was an extremely important matter, he wished that it not be disclosed to the outside until an agreement was reached on a draft in the Sato-Han talks. Minister Huang agreed not to disclose it to the outside until a consensus was reached in the Sato-Han talks.

5. Finally, Minister Huang stated: Having just heard your statement, Minister, I felt that you are as eager as China is to bring these talks to completion. I think that this reflects the aspirations of the Government of Japan and the Japanese people. I believe that concluding three years of negotiations in correctly reflecting the desires of the peoples of the two countries will meet the desires of the peoples of the two countries. With that, he ended the meeting.




総番号 (TA) R057275  5644  主管

78年  月10日03時30分 中国発

78年08月10日05時57分 本省着   ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1608号 極秘 大至急

















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