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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 12, 1978


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    Friendly remarks about the continued negotiations of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, and points of continued negotiation including the nationality of ethnic minorities.
    "Cable No. 1675, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (3rd Ministerial Meeting)'," August 12, 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) R058140     5746

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, August 12 1978, 18:30

Received: MOFA, August 12, 1978, 21:00

To: The Foreign Minister     

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (3rd Ministerial Meeting)

No. 1675  Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram 1608

Minister Sonoda met Foreign Minister Huang Hua on the 12th, from 11:00 in the morning, for 45 minutes, in Guest House 18. The meeting took place as follows:

(Participants, on the Japanese side: The Ambassador, Takajima, Nakae, Omori, Donowaki, Tajima, Sato, (Masaki) Saito, Togo, [TN: name blacked out], and [TN: name blacked out]. On the Chinese side: Vice Minister Han Nianlong, Ambassador Fu Hao, Asian Affairs Department Deputy Director Wang Xiaoyun, International Treaty and Law Department Deputy Director Shen Weiliang, Protocol Department Deputy Director Gao Jianzhong, Japanese Affairs Division Director Ding Min, Japanese Affairs Division Deputy Director Wang Xiaoxian, Japanese Affairs Division Deputy Director Xu Dunxin, Japanese Affairs Division Member Lu Qi, and Japanese Affairs Division Member Sun Ping.)

1. (1) At the start, Minister Sonoda spoke as follows:

We have entirely completed the task.  It is gratifying to have this final meeting today. I thank Foreign Minister Huang Hua, Vice Minister Han Nianlong, and everyone else for their efforts and enthusiasm.

(2) In response to this, Minister Huang Hua spoke as follows:

First, I would like to say something. I think that we should thank the Japanese side’s delegation, including Ambassador Sato, and the Chinese side’s delegation, including Vice Minister Han Nianlong and the other members. Thank you for having done such great work in these past few days. You have now completed everything: the Chinese-language text, the Japanese-language text, and the other translated texts. Minister Sonoda, personally visiting China at this time due to the firm determination of Prime Minister Fukuda, through these meetings you pushed these treaty negotiations to the final stage and made them succeed. Your Excellency’s visit to China was a short but fruitful one. While we have been meeting, on the outside the Chinese people and the Japanese people have been paying attention to these meetings. For a long time, all the friends who did everything possible for friendship between China and Japan struggled to promote Sino-Japanese friendship and strengthened the basis for the treaty’s conclusion. I believe that when this treaty is concluded and the news is announced, it will receive the enthusiastic welcome of the peoples of China and Japan. The peoples of the two countries have long waited for this, which is in conformity with the long-term and fundamental interests of the peoples of the two countries. I believe that the conclusion of this treaty  will open even broader prospects, in the history of friendly relations between China and Japan, for the sake of friendship between the two countries and friendship between the peoples of the two countries. As Premier Deng Xiaoping said when he met everyone, the conclusion of this treaty was delayed, so let us work to win back this delayed time. As Your Excellency says, there is much that we should do after the treaty’s conclusion. The Chinese side wishes to make great efforts with great enthusiasm and sincerity.

(3) Next, the Minister said the following:

My enthusiasm, wishing to conclude the treaty at this time, is the same as that of Minister Huang Hua. I believe that Minister Huang Hua and I are of exactly the same mind on reaching a settlement in the negotiations. First, I wish to praise the two countries’ negotiation teams, led by Vice Minister Han Nianlong and Ambassador Sato, for their achievements. It is as Your Excellency said: The treaty’s conclusion will be a starting point, promoting the friendship of the two countries with sincerity, frankness, and passion and leading to Asia’s peace and prosperity. Japan and China for the first time have been able to join together sincerely and contribute to world peace. Here, although this is a problem of the past and one that is now behind us, I offer my sincere condolences to those Japanese and Chinese who died in the Second World War. I would also like to report the conclusion of the treaty and the entry into a new stage of the friendship between Japan and China. I, too, like Your Excellency, make here a final confirmation of the treaty draft.

Next, in regard to the international situation, because it has already been discussed fully from every point and because we understand one another, I prefer not to analyze it here. How about it?

2. (1) In response to this, Minister Huang said, “I agree.” The Minister therefore continued, saying the following:

On the occasion of reaching a settlement in the treaty negotiations, I would like to talk about a few issues. I imagine that among these issues may be ones to be decided here, and others to be decided later after considering them.  Regarding issues not decided here, I think it would be fine for Minister Huang to reply when he comes to Tokyo for the ratification of the treaty.

First of all, there is the issue of making consultations between Japan and China closer. I would like both countries to consider holding meetings at least once a year at the foreign-minister level. Next, hereafter I would like to conduct exchanges of opinion not simply on issues between Japan and China but also in regard to the situation in Asia and the international situation.  

This is my opinion, but I would like to consider later in detail how we do it. Here, I request your agreement to what I have just said.

(2) In response to this, Minister Huang Hua said: “We agree in principal with making closer the consultations between our two countries. It would be better for the foreign minister of each country, and the relevant comrades of each country’s foreign ministry, to go back and forth frequently. Then, as for how many times a year or at what level do we have the consultations, how about we decide that as we see how the future situation develops?”

(3) The Minister replied, “All right.” Minister Huang Hua said, “In regard to the scope of the opinion exchanges, it would be good if we made them concerning Sino-Japanese relations and the international situations in which China and Japan are interested.”

3. (1) Next, the Minister said, in touching on the issue of the Charter of the United Nations: “Articles 53 and 107 contain the so-called “Former Enemy States” clauses. Our country’s interpretation is that, as our country has joined the United Nations and has been a party to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Japan-China Joint Communique, the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, and such, these clauses no longer apply to our country. What is your country’s thinking?”

(2) In response to this, Minister Huang Hua said the following:

“The Charter of the United Nations was written at the conclusion of the Second World War. With the changes in the international  situation since then, it no longer entirely conforms to it. The number of countries that have joined the United Nations has grown now to 149, three times that at the time of the United Nations’ inauguration. Accordingly, the United Nations Charter itself and the United Nations organs themselves do not fully reflect the international situation today. The so-called “Enemy States” clauses, too, are among such things. China has long thought it necessary to amend the Charter of the United Nations. As we see it, the obstacle to revising the Charter has been coming mainly from the Soviet Union. Malik, the Soviet representative at the United Nations, says that the Charter of the United Nations is a pillar of world peace and that the United Nations building would collapse if we revised this, so we must not revise a single word or phrase of it. Accordingly, China would like to work together with all countries seeking the Charter’s revision.”

(3) In response to this, the Minister replied:

“All right. That is fine.”

4. (1) Next, the Minister said the following:

In addition to the above, I have a number of requests.

(a) The first one concerns the issue of nationality. As the Japanese side sees it, in China there are 4,000 Japanese who, while having Japanese nationality, are recognized by the Chinese side as having only Chinese nationality. Among them there are now cases in which the governments of the two countries have opposing views or seem that they will have them. In regard to this issue, I would like your cooperation so that in the future, via the ambassador, we hold consultations in order to clarify the nationality of these people.

(b) The second issue is that of the Embassy’s site. I would like to construct a Japanese Embassy worthy of the relations between Japan and China. Making an estimation by the Japanese side’s criteria, we request to borrow a site of roughly 32,000 square meters.

(c) The third issue regards the consulate-general. We hope to establish the new consulate-general in Guangzhou. I request that the Chinese side consider this point.

Also, I request the Chinese side’s favorable consideration as well in regard to the issue of securing the official residence of the consul general in Shanghai.

(d) Finally, and this is one more important issue, I also request the support of the Chinese side for Japan’s candidacy for election to the United Nations Security Council. If I cannot receive the Chinese side’s support, despite concluding the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China and firmly shaking hands, then I will lose face in Japan, so by all means I ask for your cooperation on this point.

(2) In response to this, Minister Huang Hua spoke as follows:

(a) In regard to the nationality issue, I agree with your opinion, Minister. It would be best to resolve this issue through consultations of our two countries’ embassies and foreign ministries. The Chinese side’s principle concerning the nationality issue lies in clarifying it. I would like to make it so that no troubles arise due to ambiguity. Regarding the issue of dual nationality, which is left over from history, the Chinese side has taken a series of measures and worked thereby to settle the issue. Following the principle of each person following his own desire, we encourage the overseas Chinese to elect the nationality of the country in which they are residing. In this case, Chinese nationality would automatically cease. I think that, in this way, those who adopted the nationality of their country of residence, as citizens of that country, should work for the interests of the people of that country. If they wish to continue keeping their Chinese nationality, then we encourage such persons to observe the laws of that country, follow its manners and customs, and become a bridge of friendship between that country and China. Minister, you said in regard to the 4,000 persons that our two sides are not in agreement, but I think that resolving this issue will not be difficult if we follow such a principle.

(b) In regard to the issue of the Embassy site, I would like our two sides to have concrete consultations.

(c) In regard to the issue of putting a consulate-general in Guangzhou, I would like to consider it under the principle of equality. Also, in regard to the issue of securing the official residence of the consul general in Shanghai, I would like to resolve it as conditions permit.

(d) In regard to the Security Council election, this issue is one pertaining to the rights and interests of many countries in the Asian region. Accordingly, in regard to this issue, I would like to consider it in consultation with Asian countries and in response to the concrete situation.

5. (1) Following that, the Minister said the following:

I have nothing more to say, but here is some news. The West German press is reporting as follows. That is, “The Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China has been concluded. We welcome this. The Soviet Union, by repeated rejection, protest, intimidation, and an unfriendly attitude towards Japan, has only promoted the treaty’s conclusion.” This is not my opinion but that of the West German press.

(2) In response to this, Minister Huang Hua said, “That view is correct.”  When the Minister (sarcastically) said, “I am grateful to the Soviet Union,” Minister Huang said: “They engaged in blatant interference, so they are facing opposition not only from the peoples of China and Japan, but from the peoples of all Asia and the entire world. Our treaty does not name them. Nevertheless, they are opposing it. They are thereby exposing their true nature.”

(3) In response to this, the Minister said, “A thief, when someone says ‘thief,’ says, ‘It’s not me.’ This is known as a subjective symptom.”

6. Finally, the Minister said, “Next, I hope to be able to meet you soon in Tokyo,” ending today’s foreign ministers’ meeting.




総番号 (TA) R058140  5746  主管

78年  月12日18時30分 中国発

78年08月12日21時00分 本省着   ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


第1675号 極秘 大至急











































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