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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 10, 1986

CABLE NO. 3025, FOREIGN MINISTER TO AMBASSADOR NAKAE, 'THE PRIME MINISTER’S VISIT TO CHINA (THE MEETING WITH CHAIRMAN DENG - ON THE REFORM OF POLITICAL SYSTEM)'

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    A report about Deng's hopes for social and economic reforms in China.
    "Cable No. 3025, Foreign Minister to Ambassador Nakae, 'The Prime Minister’s Visit to China (The Meeting with Chairman Deng - On the Reform of Political System)'," November 10, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2017-0638, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs, published online by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, January 12, 2017. Transcribed and translated by Yamaguchi Shinji. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/220104
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/220104

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Received at 12:45:11, November 10, 1986

Drafted on November 8, 1986

Primary: Director General of Asian Bureau approved

               [illegible]

               Director of China Division approved

From: Foreign Minister

To: Ambassador to China

Title: “The Prime Minister’s Visit to China (The Meeting with Chairman Deng: On the Reform of Political System)”

Cable No. 3025

Secret, Urgent

[…]

When the Prime Minister asked about reforming China's political system, Mr. Deng gave the following explanation

I have yet to find a clue about political reform, but in my mind I see it as having the following three goals.

The first is to maintain the vitality of the Party and the nation. This vitality has to do with the rejuvenation of the leadership and is a step forward in the four modernizations of personnel that have been going on for several years - revolutionaries, annual blueprints, intellectualization, and professionalization. This isn't something that can be done in three or five years; it takes about 15 years. Next year's 13th Party Congress will take a step forward, but it's very much not a done deal. I would like to go one step further at the 14th Party Congress and complete it at the 15th Party Congress, but by then I would be 93 years old, because I am now 82 years old. It is not something that I can achieve, nor is it something that Hu Yaobang or Zhao Ziyang can achieve.

However, it is important to set a goal. Maintaining vitality is a major undertaking. It would be nice if we could someday see the politicians, corporate managers, scientists, literary figures, etc. of 30s and 40s emerge. For this purpose, we would like to enact a policy to select some young people. This has to do with the education system as well. Anyway, the above is just a start, and there is a lot of work to be done.

(2) The second is to overcome bureaucratism, improve efficiency, and prevent overexpansion of the organization. In other words, there are too many people for the job and they do inefficient work. Because of the inseparability of the party and government, the party often substitutes government jobs and there are overlapping functions of the party and government. The party's leadership itself will be held fast and not be abandoned, but the party must do its leadership well. I've been raising this issue for a few years now, but there are so many issues that I can't wrap my head around the idea. We must enumerate the efficiency of [illegible] the four modernizations. The Japanese take-off also improved dramatically in efficiency during the 1960s.

(3) The third is to motivate the people. In other words, the motivation of the workers, the peasants, and the intellectuals must be harnessed; seven years of reforms have harnessed the motivation of the peasants, but this is due to the decentralization of power. (We) also must decentralize power in industry.

This is where the issue of democratization of management – that is, participation in corporate management – comes into play. This is done in Japan, so the efficiency is very good. We have to work this out too.

In short, if the leadership is energetic, if the bureaucratism is overcome, and if the people are motivated, it will be possible, but we are still studying whether other conditions are needed, and it will not be in time for the 13th Party Congress until around 1988 or 1989.

[Cable] relayed to the [Japanese diplomatic missions in] U.S., Soviet Union, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

JAPANESE (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

[…]

総理より、中国の政治体制改革について質したところ、鄧主任は次の通り説明した。

政治体制改革については、いまだ手掛かりを見つけ出していないが、自分の頭の中では次の三つの目標を持つものと考えている。

即ち(1)第一に党と国家の活力の維持である。この活力とは、指導部の若返りと関係するものであり、数年前から行っている人事の四つの近代化革命家、年青化、知識化、専門化を一歩前進させるものである。これは3年や5年でできるものではなく、15年くらいはかかる。来年の第13回党大会では一歩を踏み出すだろうが、とてもそれで完成するようなものではない。第14回党大会でさらに一歩進み、第15回党大会で完成したいが、そうなると自分は今82歳だから93歳にもなり、自分が成し遂げられるものではないし、胡耀邦か趙紫陽がやり遂げられるものでもない。

 しかし、一つの目標を設定することは重要である。活力の維持は大事業である。いつか30代、40代の政治家、企業管理者、科学者、文学者などが出現してくるようになれば良い。そのために一部の若い人を抜擢する政策を制定したい。これは教育制度とも係ることだ。とにかく、以上はようやくスタートを切ったところであり、やるべきことは多い。

(2)第二は官僚主義の克服と能率の向上、機構の肥大化の防止である。つまり仕事の割に人が多すぎ、非能率な仕事をするという状況がある。党と政の不分離のため、党が多くの場合政府の仕事を代替し、党政のダブりがみられる。党の指導そのものは堅持し、放棄しないが、党は指導をうまくやらなければならない。数年前からこの問題を提起しているが、問題が多すぎて考えがまとまらない。四つの近代化の〇〇能率を挙げねばならない。日本のテークオフも能率が60年代から10年間に目覚ましく向上したからである。

(3)第三は、人民の意欲を引き出すことである。すなわち、労働者、農民、知識分子それぞれの意欲を引き出さねばならない。7年間にわたる改革で農民の意欲を引き出したが、これは権力の下放による。工業でもこの下放をしなければならない。

ここで出てくるのが、管理の民主化、即ち企業管理への参与の問題である。日本ではこれが行われているために効率が非常に良い。我々もこれを解決しなければならない。

以上要するに、指導部に活力があり、官僚主義を克服し、人民の意欲を引き出せば、四化は可能となると思うが、これ以外にもっと他の条件が必要なのかどうか研究中であり、とにかく第13回党大会には間に合わない。1988年、89年頃になって、やっと何とかめどがつくのではないか。

米、ソ、上海、広州、香港に転電した。

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