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December 19, 1967

Minister of National Defense Chiang’s Visit to Japan

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China Information No. 34069

No. 1130

Minister of National Defense Chiang’s Visit to Japan

December 19, 1967

China Division

Chiang Ching-kuo, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of China (ROC), made an official visit to our country as an official guest from November 27 to December 2. A summary of the visit is as follows.

1. Circumstances Prior to His Coming to Japan

Chiang Ching-kuo is the first son of President Chiang Kai-shek. Nominally, he is no more than a Cabinet official, the Minister of National Defense, but since the death of former Vice President Chen Cheng (March 1965), he has been taking power in the Party, government, and military.  He is regarded both at home and abroad as the most influential person after Chiang Kai-shek in the Government of the Republic of China (GRC). Consequently, there was a desire within our country to invite Chiang Ching-kuo, seen as taking charge of the GRC in the next generation, to our country.

Yen Chia-kan, President of the Executive Yuan, while in Tokyo on his way to the United States, met Prime Minister Sato Eisaku this year on May 7. At that time, Prime Minister Sato said, “The Government of Japan would like to invite National Defense Minister Chiang.” That message was also conveyed by way of the Embassy of Japan in the ROC. This resulted in the reply on June 7 of Minister Chiang to Ambassador to the ROC Shimazu Hisanaga and that of ROC Ambassador Chen Chih-mai in Tokyo to Deputy Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Ushiba Nobuhiko that, “We formally accept the Government of Japan’s invitation.”

Some within the GRC and in our country’s political circles said that we should welcome Minister Chiang as a state guest but, as the result of various considerations, the decision was made, while formally making him an official guest, to receive him as the equivalent of a state guest.

Prime Minister Sato, in his visit to Taiwan from September 7 to 9 this year, told President Chiang Kai-shek on September 8 that he would like to invite National Defense Minister Chiang to Japan. With President Chiang’s replying, “I thank you for the official invitation,” Prime Minister Sato announced at the press conference with domestic and foreign reporters that the Government of Japan was officially inviting National Defense Minister Chiang to visit Japan at the end of November.

2. Actions While in Japan

(A) ROC Minister of National Defense Chiang Ching-kuo and his party arrived by a chartered aircraft of China Airlines at Haneda Airport at 2 o’clock in the afternoon of November 27.

Other than Minister of National Defense Chiang Ching-kuo, the party consisted of 10 official members. Their names are as follows:

Dr. Sampson C. Shen [TN: Shen Chang-huan] (Administrative Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs)

Mr. Hsieh Tung-ming (Speaker of the Taiwan Provincial Council)

Dr. C.Y. Stone [TN: Shih Chao-yong] (Dean of the Faculty of Law, Soochow University)

Mr. Chen Mien-siu (Chairman of the Board, Bank of Taiwan)

Mr. Tsiang Yien-si (Chairman of the Science Development Guidance Committee, National Security Council)

Lt. Gen. Tang Chun-po (Director for Research and Development, Ministry of National Defense)

Lt. Gen. Yu Hao-chang (Marine Corps Commandant)

Mr. Chow Lung-chi (secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Chung Hu-ping (captain, Navy, military aide to the Minister of National Defense)

Hsu Ming-chang (lieutenant colonel, Air Force)

At the airport, Foreign Minister Miki Takeo and Chief Cabinet Secretary Kimura Toshio, as well as members from various countries of the diplomatic corps in Japan and many of those involved in the visit, greeted their arrival. The Ground Self-Defense Force welcomed the visitors with honors that included firing a salute and performing the national anthems of both Japan and the Republic of China.

In addition, Minister Chiang made the following main point in a statement (in print):

“It is my profound honor to visit Japan at your invitation. I sincerely express my gratitude for having received such a warm welcome from the Government and the people of Japan as well as from various Overseas Chinese friends residing here, and for your having greeted us with such courtesy and honor. At this time, as we visit your country, I deeply believe that we will surely benefit greatly from the opportunity of hearing the valuable opinions of His Excellency Prime Minister Sato, as well as those of various leaders from the government and the people, concerning the various issues between China and Japan as well as those facing Asia.” …. [TN: ellipsis dots in original] He followed in his statement by speaking of the Chinese Communist threat. He said that, due to the struggle for power among the Chinese Communists, the party organization had already been dismantled, the people’s hatred for the Chinese Communists had reached its peak, and that the Republic of China had the responsibility of overthrowing Chinese Communist tyranny and achieving counterattack and national recovery in the near future.

(The itinerary of Chiang Ching-kuo’s party while staying in Japan is as found in the attachment to this report.)

The party, following a rest at the State Guest House, left at 16:30 for the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

The meeting between Prime Minister Sato and Minister Chiang took place from 16:40 to 17:30 for approximately 50 minutes. Prime Minister Sato set forth his views on the international situation by way of his two tours of Southeast Asia this fall, followed by his visit to the United States and meetings with the US President Lyndon Johnson and other American leaders. Minister Chiang simply assumed the role of listener. Following that, the party arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Miki.

From 19:00, Foreign Minister Miki hosted a non-official dinner party at the restaurant Shinkiraku in Tsukiji, where Goto Noboru (president of Tokyu Corporation), Tsutsumi Seiji, president of Seibu Department Stores, and other members of a group of young and energetic businessmen spoke with Minister Chiang.

At 10:30 in the morning of November 28, Minister Chiang and his party paid a courtesy call at the Diet on both Ishii Mitsujiro, speaker of the House of Representatives, and on Shigemune Yuzo, speaker of the House of Councillors. The party then left for the Defense Agency, where they met Masuda Kaneshichi, Director-General of the Defense Agency. At 12:55, the party arrived at the Hotel Okura, where they attended a luncheon party hosted by Director-General Masuda. In addition, Minister Chiang and five members of his party arrived at 15:20 at the Imperial Palace. From 15:30, for a period of approximately 50 minutes, they had an audience with His Majesty the Emperor in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. Minister Chiang spoke to the Emperor of the letter from President Chiang Kai-shek and of his bringing with him gifts of marble, garden chairs, shoji screens, and carpets that were made in Taiwan. The Emperor expressed his thanks for the gifts and inquired about his health. The party’s audience with the Emperor took place in a very genial atmosphere, with refreshments served. At 16:20, the party departed the Imperial Palace. At 19:30, the party attended an official dinner party that Prime Minister Sato hosted at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

On November 29 at 8:00 in the morning, Minister Chiang and his party toured the Nissan Motors plant located in Oppama, Kanagawa Prefecture as well as the Toshiba Science Museum and transistor radio factory in Kawasaki.  At 13:00, they left for the Akasaka Sanno Hotel to attend a welcome lunch hosted by the General Assembly of Overseas Chinese in Japan. At 15:00, a press conference with domestic and foreign reporters was held in the Peacock Room of the State Guest House. At 18:15, Minister Chiang and his party left for the Keidanren Kaikan building in Otemachi, where they attended a joint reception of the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), and the Japan Foreign Trade Council (JFTC). After that, they left for the Residence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nagatacho and from 19:30 attended a dinner party hosted by House of Representatives Speaker Ishii. At a very intimate private party, Speaker Ishii, who began his remarks by saying that he limited the gathering to those who knew Minister Chiang or those whom he really wished to introduce to him, introduced Mr. Nishio Suehiro, Minister of Education Nadao Hirokichi, and Minister of Health and Welfare Sonoda Sunao, among others. Also present were former Speaker of the House of Representatives Funada Naka, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Kawashima Shojiro, former Justice Minister Tanaka Isaji, Mr. Kaya Okinori, and Mr. Nagano Shigeo. 

On November 30, after touring the NHK Broadcasting Center and the Mainichi Newspapers Company from 9:45, they arrived at 12:00 at the Hotel Okura, where they attended a luncheon jointly hosted by the Asian Problems Study Group (APSG), the Asian Parliamentarians’ Union (APU), and the Folks’ Diplomacy Association.

At 15:20 in the afternoon, the party arrived at the Meiji Shrine. Led by Chief Priest Kanroji Osanaga, they paid their respects at the shrine sanctuary and afterwards received the drink of the Gods. After that, they arrived at 16:10 at Aoyama Cemetery, where they were met by Mr. and Mrs. Aso [TN: Aso Takakichi and his wife Kazuko, daughter of former Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru]. They then placed a floral wreath before the grave of the late former Prime Minister Yoshida and paid their respects. Minister Chiang then also paid his respects at the nearby graves of two friends of his father, the President: the late former Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi and Toyama Mitsuru.

At 17:30, they left for the Embassy of the Republic of China in Zaimokucho, Azabu, where they attended a reception hosted by Ambassador to Japan Chen Chih-Mai. At the reception, Prime Minister Sato, as well as various Cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, business leaders, influential Overseas Chinese, and many others were present. The reception was a great success. After that was Ambassador Chen’s private dinner party, which Minister Chiang and his party attended.

On December 1, Minister Chiang and his party, avoiding unforeseen circumstances, canceled the initial plan for riding the Hikari on the Shinkansen for their trip west, instead flying on two YS-11 aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), provided by the Defense Agency. At 9:20 in the morning, they left Haneda and at 11:00 arrived at Osaka’s Itami Airport. The party headed by car for Kyoto, arrived at 12:00 at the Miyako Hotel, and had sukiyaki made from Matsusaka beef for lunch. Minister Chiang enjoyed the sukiyaki in an exceptionally relaxed state and was in a good mood the entire time.

[10] At 13:55, they arrived at the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Greeting Minister Chiang and his party in front of the gate were more than 300 of the Seicho-no-Ie’s believers, men and women, young and old, the children waving the flags of the Hinomaru and the Blue Sky and White Sun [TN: the flags of Japan and the ROC]. The Minister got out of his car in front of the gate, returning their greetings, patting a young girl’s head, and expressing his gratitude. Then, with Ishikawa Tadashi, Director of the Kyoto Office of the Imperial Household Agency providing explanations, they proceeded to tour one after another the Shishinden and Seiryoden halls, the gardens, and other sites. Members of the party expressed in particular their profound interest in the panel paintings of Chinese sages and such persons as Zhuge Kongming [Zhuge Liang] and Lü Shang [Jiang Ziya], the Grand Duke’s Hope. Finishing a tour of Nijo Castle, the party then enjoyed a demonstration of the tea ceremony in the Omotesenke style and a koto performance at the Koun-tei in the castle’s Seiryu-en Garden.

They then viewed the rock garden at Ryoanji Temple. At 16:15, the party left Ryoanji Temple and at 17:30 arrived at the Royal Hotel in Osaka. At 18:35, they arrived at the Japanese restaurant Tsuruya. They attended there a dinner party jointly hosted by Osaka Prefectural Governor Sato Gisen, Osaka Mayor Chuma Kaoru, and Ichikawa Shinobu, Chairman of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and talked with members of the Kansai region’s business community.

At 10:00 in the morning of December 2, Minister Chiang and his party toured Osaka Castle and, after that, arrived at 11:20 at Itami Airport. They heard there performances of the national anthems of Japan and the Republic of China, exchanged farewells with those who had attended to them in their visit, political and business leaders of the Kansai region, and others, then left without incident on a waiting chartered China Airlines aircraft to return to the Republic of China.

3. Actions of Organizations

Authorities responsible for security put in place an exceptional security system for Chiang Ching-kuo’s coming to Japan, so nothing irregular happened.

(A) On November 22, the “Liaison Council Opposing Chiang Ching-kuo’s Coming to Japan,” formed on November 15 by 16 organizations, including the Left Socialist Party, the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (Sohyo), the Japan-China Friendship Association (Orthodox), and the Japan Association for the Promotion of International Trade (JAPIT), announced at the Hitotsubashi Gakushi Kaikan building the “Joint Statement Opposing Chiang Ching-kuo’s Coming to Japan.” On November 25, the Liaison Council held at the Kubo Auditorium in Toranomon a “central meeting” of approximately 1,000 representatives from the organizations involved (Gan Wenfang, chairman of the Tokyo Overseas Chinese General Association, which leans towards the Chinese Communists, was among those who gave a speech) and later held an opposition campaign that included a demonstration march in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

On the day of Minister Chiang’s arrival, November 27, part of the Liaison Council, approximately 300 persons involved, appeared at a terminal finger of the airport and chanted slogans. It ended with only some minor scuffles with security officers.

No remarkable opposition activities by the Left took place during the period that Minister Chiang and his party were in Japan. Apart from broadcasts by microphone of the Chinese Communist song “The East Is Red” in front of the gates of Nijo Castle and Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto on December 1, when Minister Chiang and his party were sightseeing there, there was only some rock throwing while they were being driven through Kyoto (none of the rocks hit the cars). There were no radical protests, such as resorting to violence.

(B) Taiwan Independence League

Demonstrations by the Taiwan Youth Independence League, made up of supporters of independence for Taiwan who are resident in Japan, took place twice, but both demonstrations followed the course per the original application. First, the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Security Commission approved the course of the League’s demonstration (the course included the site of the Embassy of China in Azabu). The League objected and filed a lawsuit to repeal the Metropolitan Public Security Commission’s decision and suspend its execution. The Tokyo District Court (Second Civil Division, Chief Judge Sugimoto Ryokichi) recognized the petition. Furthermore, in response to the Metropolitan Public Security Commission’s complete total disapproval of the demonstration of November 28, the Taiwan Independence side again filed suit to suspend the execution of this decision. The Tokyo District Court (Third Civil Division, Chief Judge Ogata Setsuro) approved the League’s original application to march in demonstration past the Embassy, stating, “The disapproval decision was a misapplication of the regulations on the part of the Metropolitan Public Security Commission.” So it took place after the complicated back and forth noted above.

In light of such circumstances, a rather strict security system was adopted for both November 24 and 28 (there was also a request from the Embassy of China for the 28th), but in the League’s demonstration march in front of the Embassy, demonstrators only held up placards that read “Long live Taiwan,” “We oppose Chiang’s coming to Japan,” and “Liberty for Taiwan,” and chanted slogans. On both November 24 and 28 (on those days there were approximately 120 demonstrators and six sound trucks), the demonstrations took place in an orderly fashion, without any friction with either the security authorities or with Embassy personnel.

(C) Other than that, Seicho-no-Ie (Tanaka Tadao, President) and other organizations hosted on November 23 at Ryokoku Sumo Hall a mass meeting to welcome Minister Chiang to Japan. House of Councillors Speaker Shigemune; House of Councillors Member Tamaki Kazuo; and Niu Nai-sheng, Minister of the Embassy of China in Japan, were among those who attended the meeting.

Furthermore, regarding the actions of the Right, a representative of Akao Bin (Great Japan Patriotic Party, President) on November 29 handed to a member of the Embassy of China in front of the gate to the State Guest House where Minister Chiang and his party were staying a “petition” addressed to Minister Chiang. Other than that, there were no incidents along the lines of right-wing elements demanding to meet Minister Chiang and his party or clashes with left-wing elements.

4. Responses to Minister Chiang’s Visit to Japan

(A) The GRC: The Central Daily News, organ of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the GRC, ran on its front page of November 25, along with the itinerary of the visit to Japan and the names of those accompanying Minister Chiang, the headline “More Than 10,000 People in Tokyo Hold Meeting, Welcome Minister Chiang’s Visit to Japan.” The newspaper carried related articles on the mass meeting, held by Seicho-no-Ie and other organizations, to welcome Minister Chiang to Japan (November 23) and the preparations of the Government of Japan to welcome him. On November 26, the newspaper ran the message to Taiwan of Ambassador to Japan Chen Chih-mai on Minister Chiang's visit to Japan. From November 27, the newspaper ran on its front page for consecutive days stories on such news as the welcomewhen Minister Chiang and his party landed at Haneda, the meeting with the Prime Minister, the courtesy call paid on the Foreign Minister, the audience with His Majesty the Emperor, and the travel to the Kansai region.Other than that, an article on the left-wing demonstration at Haneda Airport was also run. (This is said to be Minister Chiang’s direction to report to the public in a fair manner the actions of both Left and Right within Japan.)

On December 3, the Central Daily New, touted the success of the trip in an editorial issued under the title “Joyfully Welcoming Minister Chiang’s Visit to Japan”: “We received an extraordinarily warm reception from both the government and people of Japan. This visit to Japan was not the usual trip to a foreign country. The success of this visit not only breaks new ground in relations between China and Japan but will also influence the development of the state of affairs in Asia and that of the international situation.” 

Taiwan’s private newspapers, along with producing nearly the same reporting as the Central Daily News, ran editorials on the visit. One editorial stated that it opened a new stage in relations between China and Japan (United Daily News, December 2). According to another editorial, it was a trip that had achieved the greatest success. The sources of the trip’s success that the editorial cited were:  (1) the Japanese people’s sense of gratitude regarding President Chiang’s spirit of “repaying malice with virtue,” (2) Minister Chiang’s prominent position in the GRC, and (3) his friendly character (Credit News, December 2).

Furthermore, Minister Chiang himself said on December 2 at a press conference at Taipei Airport upon his return that, “I thank everyone in the government and the people of Japan for their warm hospitality (Central Daily News, December 3). According to an inside story from Lee Huan, director of the KMT [Central Committee] First Section, someone said to be one of Minister Chiang’s “Four Heavenly Kings,”  Minister Chiang spoke of the visit to Japan giving him a new understanding of Japan, expressed his great satisfaction, and said that President Chiang had listened in high spirits Minister Chiang’s briefing after returning to China.

(B) The Chinese Communists: On November 28, the Eastern News Agency reported the left-wing protest that day at Haneda Airport. After that, it did not report any news during the time that Minister Chiang and his party were in Japan. As of December 7, the People’s Daily, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, running at the lower right-hand side of page 6, under the headline “Reactionary Sato Government, Colluding with the Bandit Chiang, Plotting Anti-Revolutionary Conspiracy,” had simply reported a wire of the New China News Agency [Xinhua], dated December 4 from Tokyo (Radio Peking, December 6), that made the criticism, “Chiang Ching-kuo’s visit to Japan is part of an anti-China encirclement by the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan. Once more Japan is plotting to occupy Taiwan and indulging in the delusion of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” They ran no direct criticisms in the form of

People's Daily editorials and such.

In addition, in regard to the series of activities by leftists within Japan to stop Minister Chiang’s visit to Japan, the Chinese Communists merely sent a single telegram of encouragement to the “Central Meeting Opposed to Chiang Ching-kuo” in the names of the China-Japan Friendship Association and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The Chinese Communists neither reported this telegram nor the holding of the meeting.

(C) Hong Kong: The same as the Chinese Communists, neither of Hong Kong’s Chinese Communist-leaning newspapers, Ta Kung Pao or Wen Wei Po, ran direct criticisms, only citing the aforementioned Eastern News Agency article on the demonstration at Haneda Airport and the Tokyo wire of the New China News Agency at the bottom right-hand side of page 2.

Among Hong Kong’s right-wing newspapers, the Hong Kong Times (a KMT-leaning newspaper) published positive commentary similar to that of Taiwan’s various newspapers. Among Hong Kong’s newspaper comments were “Minister Chiang’s visit to Japan was for promoting trilateral military cooperation among Japan, the United States, and China” (Overseas Chinese Daily News, November 29) and “Permitting the Taiwan Youth Independence League to demonstrate was the expression of the insincere attitude of the Japanese side” (Sing Tao Daily, December 5).


Itinerary of Minister Chiang and His Party








Day 1: Nov 27 (Monday)



14:00 Arrival at Haneda (chartered aircraft)

Meet Prime Minister Sato

Courtesy call on Foreign Minister Miki

Unofficial Japanese dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Miki

Stay at State Guest House

Day 2: Nov 28 (Tuesday)

Courtesy call on House of Representatives Speaker Ishii

Courtesy call on House of Councillors Speaker Shigemune

Meet Defense Agency Director-General Masuda

Luncheon hosted by Defense Agency Director- General Masuda

Audience with His Majesty

Dinner hosted by Prime Minister

Stay at State Guest House

Day 3: Nov 29 (Wednesday)

Tour of Nissan Motors plant

Tour of Toshiba plant

Luncheon hosted by Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Press conference with domestic, foreign reporters

Joint reception with the 3  organizations

Dinner hosted by House of Representatives Speaker Ishii

Stay at State Guest House

Day 4: Nov 30 (Thursday)

Tour of NHK Broadcasting Center

Tour of Mainichi Newspapers Company

Joint luncheon hosted by APSG, APU, and Folks’ Diplomacy Association

Visit to Meiji Shrine

Visit to grave of late Prime Minister Yoshida

Reception hosted by ROC Ambassador to Japan Chen

Private dinner

Stay at State Guest House

Day 5: Dec 1 (Friday)

Depart Haneda  09:00 (SDF YS-11)

Osaka Itami Airport 11:00

Lunch at Miyako Hotel in Kyoto

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Nijo Castle

Ryoanji Temple

To Osaka

Joint dinner hosted by chambers of commerce and industry of Osaka Prefecture, City

Osaka Royal Hotel

Day 6: Dec 2 (Saturday)

Tour of Osaka Castle

11:30 Return to ROC from Osaka Airport  (charter aircraft)









The Japanese Foreign Ministry summarizes Chiang Ching-kuo's recent visit to Japan: who Chiang met with and what he discussed during his meetings; where Chiang travelled and his activities; and the responses, both domestic and foreign, to Chiang's visit.

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Document Information


Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File A’0392 (Microfilm). Contributed by Robert Hoppens and translated by Stephen Mercado.


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