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September 2, 1985

Letter, Ronald Reagan to Yasuhiro Nakasone


September 6, 1985


Dear Mr. Prime Minister:


I have been asked to forward the enclosed letter from President Reagan to you.




Enclosure: As Stated


His Excellency

Yasuhiro Nakasone,

Prime Minister of Japan,







September 2, 1985


Dear Yasu:


I deeply appreciated your July 29 letter which gave me advance notice of Japan's Trade Action. Plan I know that you personally worked very hard to make it a broad and effective device by which foreign products can have a better opportunity to compete in Japan. Thanks to your efforts, Japan is moving toward a role in the international economy more commensurate with its growing economic power arid influence.


The next several weeks are crucial for the future health of our bilateral trade relationship. Several congressional leaders have recently told you that prospects for the passage of protectionist legislation after Congress returns from recess are growing. Indeed, it is possible that such bills might be enacted over my veto, although I assure you that my opposition against protectionism is steadfast.


The situation is critical. All that we have accomplished during 40 years of increasingly liberal trade is at risk. The welfare of our citizens demands that we do our utmost to resolve the problem in a way that results in the expansion, not the restriction, of trade. I fully intend to pursue a trade expansion approach. This was reiterated in Tokyo by Clayton Yeutter, the U.S. Trade Representative, who met with you arid other Japanese leaders during his recent trip to Japan. As he told you during his meeting with you, my administration opposes the restricting of exports or the imposing of export surcharges by the Government of Japan. We hope you will be successful in resisting pressures toward adopting such measures.


But it is also imperative that Japan act as quickly as possible to implement its Trade Action well as consider whether other measures not included in the initial announcement might be added. Secretary Shultz has written Foreign Minister Abe in greater detail with our thoughts on how the action plan, the sectoral trade discussions, and your Government's plans to move toward domestic-led economic growth might be the basis of an effective strategy to help us battle protectionist pressure.

On the matter of our hostages in Lebanon, let me tell you how much I appreciate the help and support the Japanese Government is providing us on this trying issue. I hope that our patient and persistent efforts will soon bear fruit. Their captivity is never far from my mind.


I'm happy to tell you that the California sun is having its usual therapeutic effect on my health. I feel fully recovered.


Nancy joins me in sending our best regards,








His Excellency

Yasuhiro Nakasone,

Prime Minister of Japan,




In a letter to Prime Minister of Japan Nakasone, President Reagan writes about the future of the relationship between Japan and the United States, emphasizing the need to protect liberal trade and ending with an expression of appreciation for Japan’s assistance in the release of the American hostages in Lebanon.


Document Information


Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2017-0631.


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