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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 14, 1975


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    A summary of a meeting between Foreign Minister Miyazawa and several leading officials from the Liberal Democratic Party regarding Japan's ratification of the NPT.
    "Disarmament Office, United Nations Bureau, Japanese Foreign Ministry, 'NPT Issue (Briefing of Minister Miyazawa’s Visit to the United States to Directors of Concerned Divisions of the Liberal Democratic Party)," April 14, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2014-2755. Contributed by Yoko Iwama and Yu Takeda and translated by Ju Hyung Kim.
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NPT Issue (Briefing of Minister Miyazawa’s Visit to the United States to Directors of Concerned Divisions of the Liberal Democratic Party)


1975. 4. 14

The Office of the Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Bureau


1. On the 14th, Chairman of the Research Commission on Foreign Affairs Kitazawa, Chairman of the Research Commission on National Security Arita, Director of the Foreign Affairs Division Sakamoto, and Director of the Science and Technology Division Ito, from the Liberal Democratic Party, visited Minister Miyazawa (Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hatano, Deputy Minister Okawara, Director-General of the American Bureau Yamazaki, and Director of the Office of the Disarmament Affairs Kazuhara were in attendance). The Minister debriefed his recent visit to the United States, and discussions were held on how to proceed with the ratification of the NPT in the future. They agreed that the Minister will again report on his visit to the United States at a joint meeting of the relevant Divisions and the Research Commissions on the 18th, and they will decide the party’s definitive policy to this matter after observing the situation at the meeting. (The Deputy Minister requested that a conclusion be reached at a joint meeting on the 18th since it is preferred to submit this matter to the Diet before the Review Conference)

2. Outline of the discussions (on substance) held at the meeting is as follows:

(1) Minister Miyazawa explained the discussion on security issues with the U.S. leaders during his recent visit to the United States in accordance with the attached “opening statement.” In addition, the following points were supplemented.

As for Japan’s security issues, we had a thorough discussion with the U.S. side before visiting the United States, spoke with Deputy Secretary of State Ingersoll at the meeting on the first day, and also talked with Secretary of State Kissinger on the second day. At the meeting with Secretary Kissinger, we prepared notes to clarify the contents of the discussion and he responded to it properly. However, we would like to be pretend that all discussions were conducted orally. (The contents including the wording of the first, second, and third statements in the attachment were confirmed by both sides.) These points were reaffirmed during the meeting with President Ford.

(2) Chairman Arita stated as follows.

When I met with Prime Minister Miki, I said to the Prime Minister that “during the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States, I hope that the joint statement will be made based on discussions on the Japan-U.S. security treaty during Miyazawa’s recent visit to the United States. I would like to presuppose this in settling the Party regarding NPT ratification.” Prime Minister consented. This point should be taken into consideration in the Minister’s explanation at the meeting on the 18th. I want the Minister to at least reveal that he is preparing for the joint statement of the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States. (The Minister replied that he fully understood the purpose)

(3) Chairman Arita first mentioned that he understands a consideration not to provoke the opposition party too much because the Diet was closed. He then stated regarding the issue of three non-nuclear principles and domestic defense efforts as follows.

(a) Although there is a strong argument among us for two non-nuclear principles, we believe that the three non-nuclear principles are unavoidable from the viewpoint that it is not desirable to stir up the country unnecessarily. Therefore, we would like you to deal with the interpretation of the three principles in accordance with the directions of the two non-nuclear principles.    

(b) In this regard, I think the timing of the revision of the Law of the Sea will be one of turning points. In particular, regarding the principle of “no introduction” of nuclear weapons, the sticking point is that the principle which was limited to land is being expanded to internal waters. I want you to deal work on the problem in the spirit of going back to the root.

(c) Japan’s security depends on to what extent Japan can strengthen the domestic system, and there is a lack of domestic efforts in this regard. (I would like to point out the following two points in this regard (a) The current National Defense Council is of little significance. We should follow the example of the U.S. National Security Council being considered as more important than a cabinet meeting. (b)We need to decide appropriate measures to deal with emergencies in advance. Yet each ministry does not cooperate at all).

I also told Prime Minister Miki that this point should be dealt more clearly, and the Prime Minister agreed. (At that time, I asked the Prime Minister if I could think he understood this, he said yes. However, he asked me not to tell outside)

(4) Next, Chairman Kitazawa said that Japan should fully abide by its obligations regarding the strengthening of its self-defense capabilities and the use of U.S. military bases. The existence of a treaty is not enough for a security treaty; it must be faithfully implemented by mutual trust. The issue of introducing nuclear weapons into Japan should be considered from that perspective. He also mentioned that these points were discussed with Prime Minister Miki. (The Minister said that, upon Minister Sakata’s request, he asked Secretary of Defense Schlesinger to visit Japan during his visit to the United States, and the issue of the sea-lane Agreement would be taken up if the Secretary’s visit to Japan is realized)

(5) On peaceful use of nuclear energy

(a) Chairman Arita noted that the development of the domestic system should not be left to nuclear companies but should be strengthened with the participation of scholars who oppose the ratification of the NPT. Though there is an argument for securing the same level of inspection as Euratom is meaningless until the substance of the domestic inspection system is established. Most importantly, it is necessary to improve the system as soon as possible. Regarding this issue, he expressed his wish to hear an opinion of the Science and Technology Agency at a joint meeting on the 18th.

(b) Chairman Kitazawa stated that Japan’s peaceful use of nuclear energy is significantly behind that of West Germany, Japan should promote it by expanding the budget, and Japan would experience no loss if it entered into the NPT and received cooperation from foreign countries in this regard.

3. On subsequent procedures within the party

(1) Chairman Arita stated that there are various harsh opinions within the party, and some members are dissatisfied with the way in which joint meetings have been held (assuming that Directors and Chairpersons are entrusted at a meeting where only a few people gathered because of an election campaign). The joint meeting on the 18th should be held cautiously with these points in mind. In particular, regarding the development of the domestic system, I would like the Minister to take the lead to express his determination to promote the development in some way under the assumption the joint meeting is a secret one. (The Deputy Minister stated that he would like to give careful consideration to whether we include the arguments pointed out so far  to the Minister’s opening statement or in the form of answers to questions. Furthermore, Chairman Arita stated that the above discussions on national ​​security are sort of common sense. The Deputy Minister said that various points were clarified than before as a result of the discussions so far. He also pointed out that it would be wise to explain to the outside, including the Diet, in line with the argument that there were no new decisions within a framework of reconfirmation of previous decisions.


(2) Director-General Yamazaki stated that prior to the joint meeting on the 18th, it is expected that there will be a question about the Minister’s visit to the United States at the Diet session. Thus, the results of the visit will be revealed ahead of Liberal Democratic Party [sic]. It was asked to be understood, and it was accepted. (In this regard, Chairman Arita stated that while discussions in the Diet would end up in generalities, since the meeting on the 18th is a closed session, he would like the Minister to discuss the issue of the domestic system in detail.)


(3) Chairman Kitazawa said that previous discussions at the party have been held in secret meetings, but in the Diet, it will be discussed in public. It would be necessary to obtain consensus, which would make the public think it would be better to join the NPT. (Prime Minister Miki said the same on this point)

(4) Both Chairmen Kitazawa and Arita said that the leaders of the party, including the Vice-President and the Secretary-General, approved the submission of this matter to the Diet.

(5) The Deputy Minister asked for confirmation as to whether it is necessary to hold a meeting of Foreign Affairs Division in addition to a joint meeting, and it was confirmed that it is unnecessary to hold a meeting of Foreign Affairs Division.

4. Other key points covered in the meeting are as follows:

(1) Mr. Arita asked if Secretary Kissinger wanted Japan to ratify this Treaty as soon as possible. The Minister replied that this issue should be judged independently by Japan and the United States is apparently reluctant to speak out. Nonetheless, we think there is a sense that want Japan to join the NPT. (Director-General Yamazaki explained that the U.S. expressed strong interest in Japan’s ratification)

(2) In response to Chairman Kitazawa’s question on whether there is a discussion with the U.S. side about the security of non-nuclear weapons states at the NPT Review Conference, the Minister explained as follows:

(a) I talked with the other parties for quite a long time about Japan’s emphasis on the security of non-nuclear weapons states at the Review Conference. Non-aligned countries have presented radical proposals to hit the United States hardly., and Japan cannot agree with them. Since each country is in delicate position on this issue, we need to consult various aspects with them. We have already submitted a document to the United States regarding Japan’s view on this issue. We are still talking with the United States about the issue of confirming the Security Council resolution.

(Director-General of the American Affairs Bureau Yamazaki explained that Japan presented a resolution to the U.S. side, and the U.S. side understands Japan’s feelings while it is tactically troublesome if it is submitted too early. At the Review Conference, while watching on-site the activities of each country, Japan and the United States will closely consult and carefully promote the discussion).


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