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March 25, 1984

Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Foreign Ministers’ Discussion – Relations with the U.S.)'

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Number R037698

Primary: Asia and China

Sent: China 00:45 Year Month 25

Received: MOFA 02:08 1984 March 25


To: The Foreign Minister From: Ambassador Katori


Prime Minister Visit to China (Foreign Ministers’ Discussion – Relations with the US) 


Number 1340 Top Secret Top Urgent Q36RA

Wire 1339 Separate Wire 1


1. Regarding Japan-U.S. relations, by Cabinet Minister Abe, (1) this is Japan’s most important bilateral relationship, and I will comment that it is obvious that the Reagan Administration’s posture signifies the importance with which the Asia-Pacific region is considered. (2) Japan-U.S. relationship is stable and is mostly free of issues, but it is true that there is economic friction. U.S. trade deficit with Japan has surpassed 20 billion dollars. This sort of deficit is the result of the U.S. lagging in the Japan-U.S. trade competition. (3) This year is a presidential election year, and though there is possibility that friction over trade may become a greater issue, both the Reagan Administration and the opposition party, the Democratic Party, are of the mind to resolve the issue before it boils over. Japan is also endeavoring for the same end. (4) We are trying to resolve the economic friction as an issue of the balance between the Japanese and U.S. economies, so that it does not become a political issue. We hope to somehow solve this issue within 1-2 months as a contribution to the global free market. (Furthermore, the Cabinet Minister provided several examples of economic friction: (a) agricultural imports into Japan, such as citrus and beef; (b) Lowering Japanese tariffs; (c) Yen-Dollar rate, the liberalization of the Japanese capital markets, and the globalization of the yen; (d) opening Japanese markets to high-tech products)


2. Sino-U.S. Relations, by Foreign Minister Wu.


(1) The Chinese Government hopes for stable development of Sino-U.S. relations. If both parties mutually protect the provisions and principles of the 3 communique (Shanghai communique, Joint communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, communique regarding the sale of arms to Taiwan) there will be no great failures to the development of relations. The issue will be whether the U.S. will actually protect the principles of the communiques through action rather than just words.


(2) A large barrier for Sino-U.S. relations is the Taiwan Issue. The majority of Sino-U.S. negotiations and protests lodged to the U.S. are in regards to the Taiwan issue. It is our standpoint that Taiwan is a territory of the People’s Republic of China and that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legal representative of China. At the same time, we take into consideration the historical circumstances of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and we do not oppose relations between the two on the basis of private citizens. However, the U.S views Taiwan as a political entity, and so creates a problem with China.


(3) The second problem is in regards to technology transfers. The U.S. has taken a discriminatory attitude regarding this matter. On the occasion of Secretary of Commerce [Malcolm] Baldrige and Presidential [Science] Adviser Keyworth’s China visit last year, the U.S. changed China from Category P to Category V, which is a friendly state that is not an allied state. I commend this limited act of easing tensions, however, there are still many obstacles. The U.S. has placed restrictions on certain technologies citing national security and COCOM restrictions.


(4) Sino-U.S. relations have been heading towards slight improvement since the second half of last year. Premier Zhao’s visit to the U.S. was a success. Premier Zhao was received warmly by the American Government and people, and was able to exchange opinions on a wide variety of topics with President Reagan, Secretary of State [George] Schultz, among others. President Reagan and Secretary of State Schultz indicated that they will conform to the principles of the 3 communiques. The U.S. visit was beneficial for mutual understanding between the leaders of our two countries. Speaking frankly, however, there is also cause for a little worry. We are worried whether or not the U.S. will actually follow through on the things that they have said.


(5) On the occasion of Premier Zhao’s U.S. visit, the U.S. indicated their hope to develop economic and technological cooperation with China. In response, Premier Zhao answered that the U.S. has finances and technology, while China has market and resources; if both countries follow the principles of the communiques then there are many possibilities for cooperation to develop. For instance, Premier Zhao raised the Yangtze River Three Gorges Hydroelectric Construction Project (Approximately 130 thousand KW) as an example. Another success of Premier Zhao’s visit to the U.S. was that many American entrepreneurs expressed interest in U.S.-China economic and technological cooperation. Some corporations clearly indicated that they are interested in participating in the Three Gorges Project. General Electric also indicated that they are interested in exporting nuclear power plant equipment to China. China is also prepared to purchase nuclear power plant equipment, but first China and the U.S. must quickly come to an agreement on a nuclear power treaty. Essentially, there are those in the U.S. Civil Society who are taking a proactive posture towards the development of Sino-U.S. economic relations.


(6) Something that was found during Premier Zhao’s trip to the U.S. was the American people’s lack of understanding regarding China. Premier Zhao, through television interviews and press briefings, expanded their understanding of China and also addressed the prejudices that people have about China.


(7) We are proactively preparing for President Reagan’s first-ever visit to China. The President will meet with the main Chinese leaders, such as Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang. And using the successes of Premier Zhao’s U.S. visit as a foundation, I hope they will have a frank exchange of opinions. We hope that President Reagan’s visit to China will contribute to the stable and long-term development of Sino-U.S. relations. Additionally, we hope that President Reagan’s trip to China will deepen his understanding of China and help to improve how China and the U.S. deals with future bilateral issues. (End)


Wu Xueqian and Abe Shintaro discuss China and Japan's relations with the United States, with Wu noting several barriers standing in the way to stronger Sino-American relations.

Document Information


2002-113, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Obtained for CWIHP by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Ryo C. Kato.


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