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August 10, 1985

Cable No. 402, Foreign Minister to the Ambassador to Syria Kato, 'Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Main Points of Remarks for the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy)'

Number: 067640-001


Draft Telegram


Drafted:  August 10, 1985


Primary: First Middle East Division Director


To: Ambassador to Syria Kato     

From: Foreign Minister


Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Main Points of Remarks for the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy)


No. 402 Secret Urgent (Priority Processing) Q55ID


Outgoing Telegram, First Middle East Division Director’s No. 401 Separate Telegram


Your Excellency the President,


I am thankful that, when Foreign Minister Abe recently visited your country, he enjoyed a warm welcome from Your Excellency the President, as well as from the officials and the people of your country. I am satisfied that Minister Abe’s visit to your country was a fruitful one that greatly contributed to the promotion of bilateral relations between my country and yours.


It is a great pleasure, looking back, that in the past six months the visit of Foreign Minister Shara to Japan and that of Minister Abe to your country have successfully taken place and that bilateral relations between Japan and Syria have rapidly been growing closer. In particular, with the conclusion of a technical cooperation agreement on the occasion of Minister Abe’s visit to your country, the establishment of an office-level joint commission, and such, the foundation is being progressively laid for strengthening relations. I wish to inform you that I am determined to strive to cooperate with Your Excellency the President for the further strengthening of bilateral relations in every field, including those of the economy and technology.


Also, I have received from Minister Abe a detailed report on the views of the President and Foreign Minister Shara concerning the issue of peace in the Middle East and am now fully aware of your country’s position. Having for some time had a great interest in the peace and stability of the Middle East, I intend henceforth to engage in a full exchange of views regarding this issue with your country, which holds the key to peace in the Middle East.


This autumn there is going to be much movement in the international situation, with the scheduled holding of the US-Soviet Summit and such. Moreover, our country will be the host nation of the Tokyo Summit next year. As such, we are preparing to host this meeting.


With such a situation as background, on the occasion of my attending the United Nations General Assembly this autumn, I would like to engage in an in-depth exchange of views with the leaders of various countries regarding the international situation, including the issue of peace in the Middle East, in taking into consideration the exchanges of views conducted with your country.


Furthermore, Japan, the Japanese people, and I greatly appreciate from a humanitarian point of view the great efforts made by your country for the release of the American hostages in the TWA hijacking incident. Also, having received from Minister Abe a report on the utmost efforts of your country for the release of the seven American hostages now held in Lebanon, I express my deep respect for your country’s efforts.


I am fully aware of the many difficult problems regarding the release of the foreign hostages, including these seven Americans, but Japan hopes from a humanitarian point of view that the release of these hostages will be realized as soon as possible. I sincerely hope for the utmost cooperation from Your Excellency the President.


Therefore, I attach great importance to the strengthening of relations with your country and think it indispensable that, henceforth, we promote relations between our two countries in many fields, including those of the economy and technology, and continue exchanges of views between our two countries on such issues as those of peace in the Middle East and international terrorism.


From such a viewpoint, it is my great joy to be able to send at this time Ambassador Yoshihiro Nakayama, who has a profound knowledge of the issues of the Middle East and my utmost confidence, to your country as my special envoy. I sincerely hope that you and Ambassador Nakayama will conduct a meaningful exchange of views regarding these issues.


I also sincerely hope that you will realize in the near future a visit to Japan in order to develop even further the relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries.


I pray for the continued health of Your Excellency the President and the lasting happiness of your country’s people.


[TN: following text crossed out]


August 2, 1985


Prime Minister of Japan


Yasuhiro Nakasone


President of the Syrian Arab Republic


His Excellency Hafez Al-Assad



In a letter to the President Assad of Syria, Prime Minister of Japan Nakasone describes the relationship between Japan and Syria as a growing closer and thanks Syria for their assistance in the help of the release of the American hostages held in Lebanon.

Document Information


Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2017-0631. Translated by Stephen Mercado.


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