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March 24, 1984

Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – International Affairs)'

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Number R037416

Primary: Asia and China

Sent: China 04:22 Year Month 24

Received: MOFA 05:46 1984 March 24


To: The Foreign Minister From: Ambassador Katori


Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – International Affairs)


Number 1326   Secret Top Urgent Q36RA

Wire 1322, Separate Wire 4


Premier Zhao:


(1) Regarding international affairs, there will be a foreign ministerial discussion, so I will only raise some key points. There is no change in our belief that for the foreseeable future, international affairs will be marked by tension and the persistent existence of the threat of war. However, our view of the struggle between the two superpowers has changed slightly. The strategies of the two super powers during the 1970s can be characterized by the Soviet Union being on the offensive, and the United States being on the defensive. The primary threat of war was from the Soviet Union. This analysis was based on the circumstances at that time. However, in the past few years circumstances have changed slightly. There are times when the Soviet Union and the U.S. are both attacking and at times they are both on the defensive. There is a state of strategic stalemate.


(2) We fully recognize that the Japanese Government is very concerned about the increased deployment of SS-20s in the Asian region by the Soviets. The Chinese Government is also very concerned. Like the Japanese Government, the Chinese Government opposes the Soviet Union’s deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missile in the Asian region. Additionally, we do not want to see the U.S. and Soviets escalate their competition over the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Asia. We believe that the U.S. and Soviets should cease the proliferation of nuclear arms, not only in Asia, but also anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, they should pursue a policy of nuclear disarmament. If U.S.-Soviet arms race were to intensify and cause more tension and agitation, this would not be a positive development for Asian countries.


(3) We believe that the Soviet Union presents a threat to China. Therefore, we have strived to overcome the 3 great obstacles through Sino-Soviet discussions. Included in this discussion is our opposition to Soviet deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Asia. Currently, China has no intention to hold trilateral talks with the U.S and Soviet Union over intermediate-range missiles in Asia. Unlike other regions, Asian affairs are defined by an arms race between two nuclear superpowers. Tensions can only be decreased in the Asian region through speedy and widespread nuclear disarmament conducted by the U.S. and Soviet Union. Therefore, China finds it very disappointing that the Geneva negotiations between the U.S. and Soviets have been suspended. It should be demanded that the U.S. and Soviets cease the deployment of nuclear weapons and for them to return to the table to seriously discuss nuclear disarmament.


(4) Regarding nuclear disarmament, China proposes “Three Halts and One Negotiation.” That is to say, that the U.S. and Soviets should halt nuclear arms testing, improvement, and production; decrease nuclear arms and its delivery systems by 5%; and finally participation in an international conference made up of all nuclear weapons states to negotiate arms reduction. This proposal is fair and rational because it makes the U.S. and Soviets, as the states with the most nuclear arms, take the initiative for arms reduction, and places responsibility on other nuclear-armed states to participate as well. Therefore, the most important aspect of arms reduction is for all countries to exercise political and moral pressure to force the reduction of nuclear arms. Doing so will allow for the realization of international relaxation of tensions.


Prime Minister Nakasone:


We fully understand. I would like the foreign minister to speak about Japan’s defense policy, the SS-20 issue, and Cambodia issue. (Japanese security policy on Separate Wire)


Foreign Minister Abe:


(1) (Japanese security policy on separate attachment) The Soviet Union’s military build-up in the Far East is very regrettable. They have deployed Novorossiysk in addition to Minsk, established a powerful military base on Japanese territory, that is the four northern islands, and furthermore are busily augmenting their force of SS-20s. The 108 SS-20s that existed when I (Cabinet Minister Abe) spoke with Wu Xueqian has increased to 135. It is a definite fact that the Soviets are planning on increasing this number to 144 SS-20s. The tangible increase of SS-20s is a concern for Japan and China. For the sake of ensuring the peace and security of the Far East, I hope that Japan and China can continue to mutually exchange information on new developments and conditions, as well as to endeavor to reduce nuclear arms.


(2) Regarding the Cambodia issue, Japan is basically of the same mind as China. Like China, Japan supports the coalition government and the foreign policy of ASEAN. Furthermore, we hope for Vietnam to withdraw from Cambodia as soon as possible. We are of the principle that as long as Vietnam does not withdraw, we will not engage in economic cooperation with Vietnam. The increasing strength of the coalition government is a welcome development as it will contribute to their independence. Japan supports the coalition government, and we will be inviting [Prince Norodom] Sihanouk to Japan (he will visit Japan on May 30). We are pursuing cooperation with ASEAN along the above basic points.  


Premier Zhao:


(1) (Japanese security policy on separate attachment) We find Soviet military expansion to be a serious issue. We agree that Japan and China should share information.


(2) Regarding the Cambodia issue, Japan and Chinese standpoints are aligned. Furthermore, we express praise for inviting Sihanouk to Japan on May 30. (End)


Nakasone and Zhao Ziyang review Chinese and Japanese views on the Soviet Union's military build up and the Cambodian issue.

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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