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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 08, 1975

DISARMAMENT OFFICE, UNITED NATIONS BUREAU, JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'THE NPT ISSUE (VIEWS OF LDP LEADERS)

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    The Office of the Disarmament Affairs summarizes the views of several leading LDP personalities (Matsuno, Nakasone, and Shiina) on the NPT.
    "Disarmament Office, United Nations Bureau, Japanese Foreign Ministry, 'The NPT Issue (Views of LDP leaders)," April 08, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2014-0755. Contributed by Yoko Iwama and Yu Takeda and translated by Ju Hyung Kim. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/250407
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The NPT Issue (Views of LDP leaders)

Office of the Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Bureau

1975. 4. 15

On 15th, the Deputy Minister Okawara individually met with the Chairperson of the Policy Research Council Matsuno, the Secretary-General Nakasone, and the Vice-President Shiina in a sequential order on this topic.

The main points of which are as follows.

1. Meeting with the Chairperson of the Policy Research Council Matsuno

(Regarding the reconfirmation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty during Minister Miyazawa’s visit to the United States, the Deputy Minister explained mainly the contents of the three items explained by the Minister to the chairpersons of the three subcommittees on the 14th) Matsuno said that it was very good to see the fruits of his visit to the United States and would make effort to let the General Council to decide the NPT ratification proposal on the 22nd.

2. Meeting with the Secretary General Nakasone

(The Deputy Minister gave a similar explanation about the visit of Minister Miyazawa to the United States) Secretary-General Nakasone said as follows.

(1) (He expressed an interest in the review conference, referring to issues such as the timing of the meeting, Japan’s status within the meeting, and the security of non-nuclear weapons states) (Note)

(Note) Secretary General Nakasone told German Ambassador to Japan Grewe on March 17 that Japan’s attitude toward the review conference was being considered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and there would be a contact with the party in due course. (Director of the office of the Disarmament Affairs)

(2) (On the occasion of Minister Miyazawa’s visit to the United States, Deputy Minister stated that the safety of non-nuclear weapons states is important even for Japan, and Japan and the United States will continue to hold discussions in the run-up to the review conference. In this regard, he also explained that non-aligned countries are already considering adopting a protocol on non-use of nuclear weapons, while Japan cannot agree with this) When Kissinger came to Japan last November, I discussed this issue with him, and he said he would make a response. I thinks that this problem is an important point that needs to be promoted. Secretary Kissinger pointed out, and I am also fully aware, that there is a problem of military balance with Warsaw Pact forces. However, I think that Japan is in a different position from NATO countries such as Germany. (The Deputy Minister said that resolutions adopted at international conferences need to address issues uniformly beyond the standpoint of individual countries and individual regions. Therefore, Japan needs to consider the standpoint of all countries, including NATO.)

(3) In any case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not sufficiently explored this issue. I believe that what the NPT should aim for is not to prevent attacks by other nuclear powers vis-a-vis nuclear weapons states, but to prevent nuclear weapons states from attacking non-nuclear weapons states. I urge firmness in trying to secure the commitments of nuclear weapons states in this way.

(The Deputy Minister explained that Japan is making various preparations to see whether a resolution incorporating Security Council Resolution 255 can be adopted before the review conference.) (Note) The ratification issue depends on what diplomatic efforts will be made and what resolutions will be adopted at the review conference. Security Council Resolution 255 only describes actions taken in the event of an attack or threat. As mentioned above, I think that the point is a promise of nuclear weapons states not to attack non-nuclear weapons states. Although a nuclear-weapon-free zone has already been established in South America, we believe it is desirable to increase the number of nuclear-weapon-free zones in the future.

(Note) Our resolution:

(a) emphasizes that strengthening the security of non-nuclear weapons states is the high responsibility of all nuclear-weapon states (paragraph 2 of the main text).

(b) requests nuclear weapons states (in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations) to refrain from threatening or using nuclear or non-nuclear weapons (paragraph 3 of the main text).

(c) essentially supports Security Council Resolution 255 (paragraph 4 of the main text), which can meet Nakasone’s request to some extent. However, the question is whether the United States will support it and whether it will eventually be adopted. (Director of the office of the Disarmament Affairs)

3. Meeting with the Vice-President Shiina

(The Deputy Minister gave a similar explanation about the visit of Minister Miyazawa to the United States)

(1) What kind of efforts are being made to prevent the increase of nuclear weapons countries in the future? (The Deputy Minister explained that the United States has taken extremely strict measures in providing nuclear equipment to Israel and Egypt. He also mentioned that we talked to the United States that we must not loosen up)

(2) There is an information that Japan’s ratification of the NPT is of a low priority from the standpoint of the United States. (The Deputy Minister explained that though he is aware of professor Hellman’s opinion, there are doubts about how far he represents the position of the U.S. government. Moreover, while the U.S. government only expressed a strong interest to avoid being criticized for interference in domestic affairs, it is observed that the United States strongly wishes the countries to ratify the treaty in the form of general reinforcement of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty system.)

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