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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 01, 1985

CABLE NO. 644, AMBASSADOR KATO TO THE FOREIGN MINISTER, 'PROBLEM OF THE RELEASE OF THE AMERICAN HOSTAGES (DISPATCH OF PRIME MINISTER’S SPECIAL ENVOY)'

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    A telegram from Japanese Ambassador Kato to the Foreign Minister regarding the interpreters needed for Special Envoy Nakayama’s trips to Iran and Syria about the American hostages held in Lebanon.
    "Cable No. 644, Ambassador Kato to the Foreign Minister, 'Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Dispatch of Prime Minister’s Special Envoy)'," August 01, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2017-0631. Translated by Stephen Mercado. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/270625
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/270625

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Number: R105007

Primary: Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: Syria, August 01, 1985, 13:41

Received: MOFA, August 01, 1985, 19:53

To: The Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Kato

Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Dispatch of Prime Minister’s Special Envoy)

No. 644 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Your Telegram, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Director-General’s Joint Telegram No. 11021

1. On the 1st, I paid a call on [Walid] Muallem, Cabinet Director of the Foreign Minister, and briefed him on the content of your initial telegram’s Separate Telegram 2. I then made a request regarding the dispatch of a special envoy from the Prime Minister to Syria (and presented the Special Envoy’s brief personal history in English) and asked that he inform President Assad and Foreign Minister Shara of our hope for arranging appointments with them.  Cabinet Director Muallem acknowledged the request and promised that he would work to arrange the appointments once he had additional information on the Special Envoy’s schedule and on the persons who would be accompanying him.

2. In addition, as he then asked to which countries the Special Envoy would be going, I replied that he would be going to Syria and Iran. Cabinet Director Muallem also added that Syria’s President and Foreign Ministry had interpreters for French and Arabic, but none to interpret between English and Arabic. Therefore, in the event that the meetings were to take place in English and Arabic, he wished to request that the Japanese side come with interpreters.

3. In this connection, we need to inform the other side immediately. Please respond by telegram as soon as you have decided on the Special Envoy’s schedule and who will accompany him.

Passed to the United States (End)

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