Chapter 2. Diplomatic Efforts Made by Japan
Section 1. Promotion of Relations with Other Countries
(1) Asia in General
For Japan, the countries of Asia are neighbors with whom peace and prosperity will be shared. Based on this understanding, Japan's basic policy aims at strengthening its relations with the countries of Asia, promoting mutual understanding, and making contributions to the stability and prosperity of the region.
Nineteen seventy-five was an epoch-making year in the history of Asia after World War II with the end to nearly thirty years of hostilities and the establishment of socialist governments in the Indochinese Peninsula.
Following the change in the Indochina situation, non-Communist countries in Southeast Asia tried to enhance their national as well as regional resilience, while readjusting their relations with the major powers, and make new moves aimed at the further strengthening of their self-reliance and solidarity.
In other parts of Asia, the situation was generally calm, although effects of the drastic change in the Indochina situation were visible.
Taking these developments in the situation into consideration, Japan made efforts to maintain and develop its relations with the countries of Asia. As for Southeast Asia, Japan hopes for the establishment of peaceful and cooperative relations between Indochina and the ASEAN region.
The following is a review of the major diplomatic efforts made by Japan in Asia mainly in 1975.
(2) Korean Peninsula
(A) The peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula are particularly important to Japan. The security of the Republic of Korea is considered vital to the maintenance of peace in the Korean Peninsula and the maintenance of peace there is regarded as necessary for the peace and security of East Asia, including Japan. Although the drastic change in the Indochina situation exerted a psychological influence on the Korean Peninsula and an increase in tensions was noted in general, the military balance there was maintained.
(B) Japan is following a basic policy of maintaining and developing friendly and cooperative relations with the Republic of Korea while promoting a gradual interchange with North Korea in such fields as trade, culture and person-to-person contacts. Japan is hoping for an improvement in relations between the North and the South and for a dialogue between the maimed at peaceful reunification.
(C) As for Japan-ROK relations in 1975, two Japanese citizens arrested in the Republic of Korea on charges of having violated the emergency measures were released in February and bilateral relations, which had experienced such difficult events as the abduction of Mr. Kim Dae Jung from Japan and an attempt on the life of President Park by a Korean resident of Japan, tended to improve.
On July 22, the ROK Government sent a note verbale to Japan concerning Mr. Kim Dong Un, a former first secretary of the ROK Embassy in Japan, in connection with the Kim Dae Jung case. Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa visited the Republic of Korea on July 23 and 24, and at the talks between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries, it was agreed to hold the eighth Japan-ROK Ministerial Conference at an early date. The Ministerial Conference was held in Seoul on September 15, and Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Planning Agency Director-General Takeo Fukuda, Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Shintaro Abe and International Trade and Industry Minister Toshio Komoto represented Japan.
(D) Two-way trade between Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1975 was limited to $3,600 million (down 16 per cent from the preceding year), reflecting the global recession. The annual 12th Japan-ROK Trade Conference was held in Tokyo in December. Private Japanese investments made in the Republic of Korea in 1975 remained at a low level, as in the previous year. On the Government level, technical cooperation, including the acceptance of trainees and the dispatching of experts, was carried out as in other years. As for financial cooperation, notes were exchanged in August on yen credits for two projects - the development of Puk Pyong Port (\12,420 million) and the promotion of agriculture (\11, 000 million).
Japan's economic cooperation with the Republic of Korea ($200 million in loans and $300 million representing grants) based on the so-called agreement on property and claims signed on June 22, 1965, was completed after achieving the planned targets when the 10-year period expired on December 17, 1975.
(E) Although Japan has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, the interchange between the two countries in such fields as trade, culture and person-to-person contacts has expanded considerably in recent years. However, their two-way trade in 1975 shrank to about $250 million, or 68 per cent of the level in the preceding year, reflecting the worsening of North Korea's foreign exchange position and the recession in Japan.
The problem of the delayed repayment of North Korea's foreign debts, including those payable to Japan and West European countries, came to the fore, revealing the slump in that country's economic activities.
Japan has been earnestly promoting good neighborly relations and mutual understanding with China on the basis of the Japan-China joint communique signed in September 1972. Japan-China relations over more than three years since the normalization of relations have made steady progress in the political, economic and social fields, as well as in person-to-person contacts.
(A) In August 1975, notes were exchanged between the Governments of Japan and China regarding the establishment of respective consulates general, the Japanese Consulate General consequently being opened in Shanghai in September and the Chinese Consulate General in Osaka in March 1976.
(B) As for working agreements, negotiations for the conclusion of a fisheries agreement, suspended since June 1974, were resumed in Tokyo in March 1975. As the result of the subsequent negotiations conducted in Peking from June until August, the Agreement on Fisheries between Japan and China was signed in Tokyo on August 15. The Agreement went into force on December 22 after both countries completed their respective domestic formalities. It was the last of the four working agreements proposed to be concluded under the Japan-China joint communique, and its conclusion solidified the working foundation of the relations between the two countries.
(C) Regarding the question of a treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China, negotiations have been held in Tokyo and Peking since November 1974. Toward the end of September 1975, Foreign Minister Miyazawa and Chinese Foreign Minister Chiao Kuan-hua exchanged views in New York for the first time at the Foreign Minister level.
(D) In economic relations, trade between the two countries in 1975 reached $3,790 million. Japan's imports of Chinese oil in particular increased sharply over those of the previous year, rising to about 8 million tons. There were many exchanges of economic missions, and International Trade and Industry Minister Komoto visited China on the occasion of the Japan Industry and Technology Exhibition in Peking in November. There were also various exchanges in the cultural field. At the Government level, a scientific and cultural mission (headed by Kojiro Yoshikawa, Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University) visited China, while a mission of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries ( led by Wang Ping-nan ) visited Japan.
As for relations with Mongolia, cultural interchange was started under a cultural agreement concluded in September 1974. Progress was seen in economic and cultural cooperation, which was mentioned in the Japan-Mongolia Joint Communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations, including a visit to Mongolia by a Government survey mission for economic cooperation.
(5) Five ASEAN Countries and Burma
The ASEAN member countries, which witnessed almost first-hand the drastic change in the Indochina situation, sought to coexist with the new regimes in Indochina and tried to make prudent adjustments to the new power relationships among the major countries. They made clearer than ever before their policies to strengthen the political, economic and social foundations of their own countries and promote autonomous regional cooperation. The Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in February 1976 was symbolic of such moves. In Burma, efforts were made to strengthen the nation's economic foundation, while externally, it made its intention clear again to continue its independent policy line.
Japan supported the basic policies of those countries and sought to develop dialogue and cooperation with them. There was considerable progress in the promotion of cooperation, especially in the economic field, and also in the high-level exchange of views.
(A) High-level Interchanges
In May 1975, Prime Miniter Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore visited Japan and held talks with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, followed, in June, by Mme. Imelda Marcos, wife of the Philippine President, Indonesian President Jenderal Suharto and the Malaysian Minister with Special Functions in charge of foreign affairs Rithauddeen in July and Thai Foreign Minister Chatichai Choonhavan in October. They exchanged views with Japan on the post-Indochina international situation.
Besides, many Cabinet Ministers of Southeast Asian countries visited Japan for frequent exchanges of views.
From Japan, Mr. Saburo Okita (President of the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund) visited Southeast Asia in July, followed by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Bunroku Yoshino in December. They exchanged views with leaders of the countries concerned and received various useful suggestions for Japan's diplomacy.
(B) Promotion of Economic Cooperation
Japan continued its efforts to offer constructive cooperation, despite the recession in Japan, from the standpoint of supporting the self-help efforts of those countries seeking economic independence. At the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI) held in May, Japan was the first developed country to pledge substantial assistance to Indonesia which led the meeting to a successful conclusion. It also decided to extend its cooperation to the Asahan project on the occasion of President Suharto's visit to Japan in July. Japan also extended yen credits to the Philippines, Burma and Thailand.
(C) Promotion of Dialogue
In order to further broaden the contacts between Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia, regular meetings of the Joint Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee and the Japan-Thailand Joint Committee on Trade were held as scheduled, while such activities as the Southeast Asian Youth Ship program were promoted.
It is the policy of Japan to seek to establish good relations with the three countries of Indochina where socialist regimes have been established by transcending the difference in political and social systems. It is considered that Japan's assistance in the postwar reconstruction and development of Indochina will contribute to the peace and development of that region and thereby of Southeast Asia as a whole. From this standpoint, Japan made the following diplomatic efforts, among others, with particular emphasis on strengthening relations with North Vietnam.
(A) Emergency Assistance
In order to aid the large number of refugees resulting from the drastic change in the Indochina situation, Japan made a contribution of 1600 million to the Indochina Emergency Assistance Program of the International Red Cross in April 1975. In September, Japan made an additional contribution of \50O million to the Program and also donated \600 million to the Indochina Emergency Assistance Program which was mainly carried out by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), and 1300 million to UNHCR funds for relief activities for Indochina refugees abroad.
(B) Development of Relations with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Japan established diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) on September 21, 1973, and continued talks with its Government concerning the opening of embassies and Japanese grant aid. The Japanese Embassy was opened in Hanoi on October 11,and an agreement was concluded on Japanese grant aid to the value of \8,500 million for 1975.
The Embassy of the Republic of Vietnam was opened in Tokyo in January 1976, and, henceforth, Japan made various efforts to promote mutual understanding and strengthen bilateral relations, such as the dispatch in February of a mission of Japanese Government officials led by Mr. K. Arita, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Japanese Ambassador Hasegawa's assumption of his post in March and also the dispatch of a petroleum mission to that country.
(C) Promotion of Friendly Relations with Laos
Japan contributed $1.8 million in grant aid to the Foreign Exchange Operation Fund (FEOF) in July 1975, and decided to extend additional credit to the value of \2,010 million, for the Second Nam Ngum Development Fund, in September. These measures were highly appreciated by Laos.
(7) Southwest Asia
Good relations have been maintained between Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia on the basis of economic exchange, economic and technical cooperation and various kinds of interchange in person-to-person contacts. Japan's basic diplomatic policy toward this area is to maintain and promote friendly relations with all the countries concerned and to cooperate to the greatest extent possible for the stability and development of the area. Under this policy, Japan made the following major diplomatic efforts:
(A) In its relations with India, the 10th Consultative Meeting of the officials of the Japanese and Indian Foreign Ministries was held in Tokyo in November 1975. Japan promised to extend the 14th yen credit (about \30, 100 million) and the 15th yen credit (about \30,200 million).
(B) In its relations with Pakistan, Japan sent the Japanese Government Economic Mission led by Mr. Hiroki Imazato, Chairman of Nippon Seiko K.K. and President of Japan-Pakistan Association, in March 1976.
Japan released Pakistan from its liability for debts amounting to about \24,500 million under yen credits for projects located in former East Pakistan and promised to extend the 12th yen credit (about \13,400 million) and the 13thyen credit (about \15,800 million).
(C) In its relations with Bangladesh, Japan promised to extend the 2nd yen credit (\11,500 million) and made a grant of \3,000 million for the purchase of rice as KR food aid.
(D) In its relations with Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajapakse, Minister of Fisheries and of Health, and Mr. Anura Bandaranaike (Prime Minister Mrs. Bandaranaike's son), Chief Organizer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Leagues, were both invited to visit Japan. Japan promised to extend the 10th yen credit (\4,500 million) and made a grant of \300 million for the purchase of rice as KR food aid.
(E) In its relations with the Maldives, Japan made a grant of \150 million for the purchase of engines under a project to motorize fishing boats.
(F) In its relations with Nepal, Japan pledged to extend a yen credit of \3,000 million for the implementation of the Kulekhani hydroelectric project in Nepal.
Australia and New Zealand are, together with Japan, advanced democracies in the Asian and Pacific region, and also have close economic ties with Japan. They are important partners of Japan in the political and economic fields. Cooperation among advanced democracies including Australia and New Zealand, is of fundamental importance to the maintenance and promotion of the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region.
From this point of view, Japan intends to exert further efforts to maintain lasting and close friendly relations with the two countries.
In 1975, Japan and Australia joined in efforts to strengthen their bilateral relations as follows:
First, efforts were directed toward the promotion of smooth economic relations. Both countries evidenced continued interest over the stable supply of Australian coal, iron ore, meat, dairy products and wool to Japan and also over the export of Japanese industrial products to Australia. Both countries endeavored through close dialogue and consultation to promote even smoother economic relations on the basis of the recognition that they are important economic partners. The frank exchange of views at the third Japan-Australia Ministerial Committee meeting in Canberra in May 1975contributed much to the promotion of mutual understanding between the two countries.
To promote the close Japan-Australia relations even further, it is necessary to deepen interchanges not only in the economic field but also in the political, cultural, educational, social and other fields. The proposed Japan-Australia Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation is designed to govern the overall relations between the two countries in this particular context, and both Governments have worked, since 1974, toward an early conclusion of the treaty. Negotiations were continued in 1975. The Liberal-National Country Party coalition government which came to power in December 1975 also is taking a positive attitude toward the proposed treaty.
There were active exchanges of visits between Japan and Australia in the period under review. Deputy Prime Minister John Douglas Anthony, concurrently serving as Minister for Overseas Trade and also Minister for National Resources, came to Japan in February 1976 as the first distinguished statesman to visit Japan after the formation of the new Australian Government.
Japan's relations with New Zealand have also become increasingly closer in recent years. There were active high-level contacts in 1975, including the visit of Robert James Tizard, (Labor Government) Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, to Japan in April and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Abe's visit to New Zealand in May.
In its relations with Papua New Guinea, Japan opened a Consulate General in Port Moresby in January 1975. Upon its independence from Australia in September 1975, Japan recognized Papua New Guinea and established an Embassy there in December 1975. As is shown by such actions, together with the implementation of economic cooperation projects, Japan has been seeking to strengthen its relations with Papua New Guinea, a nation which expects much from Japan for its economic development.
Progress was also made in developing the friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and the four island countries of Nauru, Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa in the South Pacific.
3. North America
(1) The United States
(A) Japan and the United States enjoy relations of mutual dependence covering a very wide range of fields, including the political and economic as well as that of security, and the maintenance and development of friendship and cooperation with the United States forms the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy. The interdependence between the two countries is not limited to their bilateral relations, its importance has been growing in a global perspective.
From this point of view, through Prime Minister Takeo Miki's visit to the United States in August 1975, talks at the Foreign Minister's level and also at working-level consultations, Japan tried to solve existing issues between the two countries and further promote Japan-U.S. cooperation. There were also active exchanges at the non-governmental level, and mutual understanding and trust between the peoples of the two countries were further enhanced.
(a) Prime Minister Miki's Visit to the United States
Prime Minister Miki visited the United States in August1975 and held talks with President Gerald Ford. At the talks, they exchanged frank views not only on Japan-U.S. relations, but also on a variety of international problems, including the developments in Asia following the end of hostilities in Indochina. The two leaders also exchanged views on the general state of the world economy and various problems concerning international finance, trade, energy and cooperation between developed and developing countries, and discussed ways to promote Japan-U.S. cooperation amid increasing interdependence in the world economy. The talks confirmed that it was basically important for Japan and the United States to cooperate with each other in a constructive and creative manner for their common goals of world peace and prosperity. It can be regarded as reflecting the fact that Japan and the United States, as advanced industrial democracies, have very close relations of mutually beneficial cooperation in the international community and that the roles to be played by them have increased in magnitude.
It was the first summit meeting after Prime Minister Miki assumed office and was also of great significance in establishing mutual trust between the two leaders.
(b) Foreign Minister-Level Talks
The Japan-U.S. joint press announcement on the occasion of Prime Minister Miki's visit to the United States stated that the Foreign Minister of Japan and the Secretary of State of the United States would exchange views twice a year. In 1975,Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and Secretary of State Ehnr----Henry Kissinger held talks on nine occasions.
At these talks, they exchanged views in depth on not only bilateral problems but also global problems of common concern to both countries. The talks promoted a better understanding of each other's position and cooperation between the two countries. Secretary of State Kissinger offered a comprehensive review of Japan-U.S. relations at a meeting of the Japan-America Society in New York in June, and later stopped over in Japan to exchange views on the situation in China and other matters on his way to, and return from, China in October, and also on his way back from China on the occasion of President Ford's visit there in December. All this showed anew the great importance the United States attaches to its relations with Japan.
(B) Along with such diplomatic efforts, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visited the United States in 1975. It was the first time for an Emperor of Japan to visit the United States in the history of Japan-U.S. amity and was an epoch-making event, symbolic of the friendly relations between the two countries.
Their Majesties left Japan on September 30 and visited various parts of the United States for about two weeks. Throughout the trip, they received a heartwarming reception from the President and Mrs. Ford and the American people. During the tour of the United States, Their Majesties frequently came in contact with the general public and their sincere personalities apparently left a deep impression on the minds of the American people. Their Majesties had the opportunity to see many aspects of American society, as, for example, in the visit to the Bultz farm outside of Chicago.
Their Majesties' tour of the United States was given daily coverage in Japan, providing many Japanese with an opportunity of learning about America and the friendship of the American people. The event was also given prominent newspaper and television coverage in the United States. Many newspapers, including the New York Times, welcomed Their Majesties in editorials and both Houses of the U.S. Congress adopted resolutions welcoming them. The manner in which Americans in all walks of life welcomed Their Majesties is proof that the United States today, some 30 years after the war, considers Japan as a true ally.
Their Majesties' visit to the United States was a memorable event in the history of Japan-U.S. friendship and greatly contributed to the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries, transcending political and policy considerations.
(A) Cooperative relations between Japan and Canada have developed in recent years in many fields, including the political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological. It is Japan's policy to further broaden the basis of friendship and cooperation with Canada, an advanced democracy in the Pacific region like Japan, and strengthen cooperation with it in many areas. In 1975, there were active exchanges at the Government and private levels, including the seventh Japan-Canada Ministerial Committee meeting.
(B) Seventh Japan-Canada Ministerial Committee Meeting
The Seventh Japan-Canada Ministerial Committee meeting was held in Tokyo on June 23 and 24. Five Cabinet ministers from each country, including Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and Secretary of State for External Affairs Allan J. MacEachen, attended the conference and exchanged frank views on various matters of common concern to both countries.
At the meeting, Japan and Canada reaffirmed their policies to diversify their diplomatic activities. In the economic field, both sides reaffirmed that the promotion of reciprocal economic relations is very important for the development of the economies of both countries, and agreed that officials of the two Governments should proceed to identify those areas of such cooperation. This was one of the important achievements of the meeting. Both sides welcomed the fact that the meeting contributed substantially to the strengthening of mutual understanding and trust through the personal contacts made between the leaders of the two countries.
(C) Japan-Canada Working-Level Consultations.
On the basis of the agreement reached at the Ministerial Committee meeting mentioned above, Japan and Canada held working-level consultations in Tokyo for four days from November 25, with many high-ranking Canadian Government officials attending. To explore ways to promote economic cooperation between Japan and Canada, opinions were exchanged regarding various individual industries in such fields as raw materials and energy, manufacturing, and agriculture. As a result of these consultations, it was decided to send to Canada Japanese missions in connection with the development of tar sand and other fields.
4. Central and South America
Japan's diplomatic policy toward Central and South America aims at the promotion of mutual understanding and closer mutually beneficial cooperation on the basis of its traditionally friendly relations with the countries of Central and South America. In recent years, Central and South American countries have been cultivating broader cooperative relations with not only the United States but also Japan and West European countries, and their interest in Japan has increased markedly as seen in the expansion .of Japanese economic and technical cooperation for the promotion of economic and social development, which is a matter of primary concern to them.
Japan has strengthened its diplomatic efforts in various fields in accordance with the aim mentioned above.
First, Japan undertook to promote the exchange of leaders in various fields so as to promote mutual understanding. In August 1975, Deputy Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda made an official visit to Venezuela and Brazil and held talks with Government leaders of both countries. In June, Japan dispatched an economic mission, composed of business leaders and headed by President Shigeo Nagano of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The mission exchanged views with Government and other leaders of those countries regarding what form Japan's cooperation with them should take. On the other hand, leaders of ministerial rank from Central and South American countries visited Japan in succession and held talks with leaders in Government and other circles in Japan. They included the Foreign Ministers of Peru and Haiti, the Sugar Industry Minister of Cuba, the Power and Mines and the Trade Ministers of Peru, and the Communications and the Mines and Energy Ministers of Brazil.
Second, Japan sought to further expand its economic and technical cooperation with Central and South American countries. Major examples of cooperation in 1975 included (a) an additional Government loan to Paraguay and a Government loan to Bolivia, (b) the decision on Japan's formal participation in the Inter-American Development Bank as anon-regional member, (c) debt relief measures for Chile and (d) increased technical cooperation in such new fields as agriculture and medical care, with emphasis on Andean and Central American countries. Direct private Japanese investments, which constitute the main element in Japanese economic cooperation with Central and South America, continued to increase, mainly in Brazil, Mexico and Panama. The total amount of Japanese investments in Central and South America was $2,700 million as of the end of September 1975, accounting for 19.1 per cent of all Japanese investments abroad.
Third, Japan tried to increase interchange in the cultural field, as the need to promote mutual understanding at the popular level has come to be keenly felt in view of the development of increasingly closer relations between Japan and Central and South American countries and also in view of the expansion of the Japanese presence in this part of the world. Japan offered assistance and cooperation in the establishment of the Institute of Japanese Culture in the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the Japan-Mexico Institute in Mexico, offered scholarships to students of Japanese culture through the International Cooperation Fund, and encouraged the interchange of scientific knowledge and scholars.
5. Western Europe
The countries of Western Europe are important members of the community of advanced democracies. In particular, the expanded EC has been increasing its international influence through moves toward economic and political integration and the coordination of foreign policies, although the tempo of integration is not necessarily smooth due in part to various economic difficulties.
Japan has broad and growing relations with the countries of Western Europe, including economic interchange such as trade and investment as well as cultural exchange and person-to-person contacts. In recent years, there has been on both sides a growing awareness of their increased international roles as advanced democracies, and Japan has been promoting various kinds of consultations and cooperation and has continued to develop a close political dialogue in the broad sense of the word. In this context, Japan's diplomatic policy toward Western Europe forms an important part of its endeavor to strengthen and diversify the basis of Japan's diplomacy.
From this point of view, Japan made the following efforts:
First, Japan maintained a close degree of dialogue and cooperation in political, economic and many other fields, bilaterally or in various international forums. It was of great significance, from the standpoint of strengthening Japan-Europe cooperation, that Prime Minister Takeo Miki, accompanied by Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and Finance Minister Masayoshi Ohira, attended the Rambouillet Summit of November 1975 and exchanged frank views with the leaders of four West European countries and the United States. Foreign Minister Miyazawa held talks with the Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany by taking advantage of a meeting of the OECD Ministerial Council (in May), the U.N. General Assembly (in September) and the Rambouillet Summit. In December, he visited Europe and held regular consultations with the Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany and France and exchanged views on the general international situation and bilateral relations. Further, he held talks with President Valery Giscard d'Estaing of the French Republic and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany. In May, Queen Elizabeth II visited Japan as the first sovereign of the United Kingdom to do so. The Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands and Denmark, the Finance Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Trade Minister, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister, Energy Minister and Environment Minister of the United Kingdom also visited Japan and exchanged views with their counterparts in the Japanese Government.
Second, efforts were made to expand and strengthen economic relations. Reflecting the recession in the world economy, trade between Japan and Europe in 1975 fell below the level of the preceding year, and Japan's exports to Europe totalled $8,100 million and imports $4,400 million (accounting for 14.6 per cent and 7.6 per cent of Japan's total exports and imports, respectively). Although Japan-Europe relations are faced with such problems as Western Europe's concern over Japan's increased economic presence there (especially a sharp increase in exports of certain products), import restrictions by West European countries on certain Japanese products, and Japan's surplus in the two-way trade, concrete cooperation between the two sides has been increasing in recent years in new fields, such as in science and technology, including atomic energy, and in development cooperation in third countries in Africa and elsewhere. It is considered that economic relations between Japan and Western Europe have a potentiality for further expansion in the light of the economic strength of both sides. It is important for Japan to continue her efforts to overcome the various difficulties, to develop new relations of cooperation, and to attain a balanced growth in economic relations between Japan and Western Europe.
6. The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
(1) The Soviet Union
(A) Japan-Soviet Relations in General
Although the Soviet Union and Japan differ in their political ideologies and social systems, the Soviet Union is an important neighbor of Japan. Therefore, the basis of Japan's policy toward the Soviet Union is to establish stable relations of good-neighborliness and friendship based on mutual understanding and trust. The establishment of such Japan-Soviet relations will not only serve the interests of the peoples of the two countries but also make an important contribution to the peace and stability of East Asia and the world.
From this fundamental position, Japan has endeavored to promote its relations with the Soviet Union, and smooth progress has been made in their relations in such fields as trade, economic cooperation, culture and person-to-person contacts in recent years. Thus, for instance, Japan's trade with the Soviet Union in 1975 reached about $2,800 million, and Japan is one of the major Western trading partners of the Soviet Union. As for Japan's economic cooperation in Siberian development, seven projects have been under way since 1969(one of them has been completed) and Japanese credits extended to the Soviet Union amount to about $1,470 million.
Thus, Japan-Soviet relations have made smooth progress at the working level. However, the problem of concluding a Japan-Soviet Peace Treaty by realizing the reversion of the Habomai island group and the islands of Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu to Japan still remains the major issue.
Japan has been making efforts to settle the northern territory issue from the viewpoint that the resolution of this issue and the conclusion of a peace treaty are indispensable to the establishment of truly stable and lasting friendly relations between Japan and the Soviet Union. In January 1976,negotiations for the peace treaty were held between Foreign Minister Miyazawa and Foreign Minister Gromyko for the first time in Japan. This problem was also discussed when Foreign Minister Gromyko met with Prime Minister Takeo Miki.
There are other problems pending between Japan and the Soviet Union, such as the seizure of Japanese fishing boats in waters around the northern territories (the problem of fishing operations secure from the threat of seizure), the issue of visits by Japanese to the graves of their relatives in the northern territories, matters related to operations by Soviet fishing boats in waters off the coast of Japan, and the question of the repatriation of Japanese citizens held in the Soviet Union.
On the occasion of the visit of Foreign Minister Gromyko to Japan in January 1976, these problems were also discussed between him and Foreign Minister Miyazawa and others. An outline of the talks is given in (C) below.
(B) Exchange of Letters between Japanese and Soviet Leaders
(a) On February 13, 1975, Prime Minister Miki received General Secretary Brezhnev's letter addressed to him through Soviet Ambassador to Japan Oleg A. Troyanovsky. The letter was a reply to Prime Minister Miki's letter sent to General Secretary Brezhnev in January 1975. It was to the effect that the General Secretary shared Prime Minister Miki's intention to develop Japan-Soviet relations and that the Soviet Union hoped to discuss a treaty of good-neighborliness and cooperation, while continuing the negotiations for a peace treaty. In accepting the letter, Prime Minister Miki made it clear to Ambassador Troyanovsky that before discussing the proposed treaty of good neighborliness and cooperation, Japan and the Soviet Union should conclude a peace treaty by settling the northern territory issue.
(b) On March 8, Prime Minister Miki received another letter, addressed to him, from General Secretary Brezhnev through Ambassador Troyanovsky. The letter stated that the Soviet Union would present to the Japanese Government 42paintings by the late Heihachiro Fukuda preserved in the State Museum of Culture of Oriental Peoples in Moscow and that it hoped the gift would contribute to the promotion of mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
(c) On April 25, Prime Minister Miki addressed a letter to General Secretary Brezhnev. The letter was delivered by the Japanese Ambassador to the Soviet Union Akira Shigemitsu to Foreign Minister Gromyko who met with the Ambassador on behalf of General Secretary Brezhnev. It was a reply to the letters mentioned in (a) and (b) above. In his letter, the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation of the gift of the paintings by the late Heihachiro Fukuda and expressed Japan's basic views on Japan-Soviet relations.
(C) Foreign Minister Gromyko's Visit to Japan
Foreign Minister Gromyko made an official visit to Japan from January 9 through 13, 1976, at the invitation of the Japanese Government. Foreign Minister Gromyko visited Japan on the basis of the agreement reached on the occasion of Foreign Minister Miyazawa's visit to the Soviet Union in January 1975 for negotiations for a peace treaty. It was Foreign Minister Gromyko's third visit to Japan, following the previous visits in 1966 and 1972, and the first one in four years. During his stay in Japan, Foreign Minister Gromyko held talks for a peace treaty and also held regular consultations between the Japanese and Soviet Foreign Ministers. He also exchanged views with Prime Minister Miki, Deputy Prime Minister Fukuda and others, mainly on Japan-Soviet problems.
(a) Northern Territorial Issue (Negotiations for a Peace Treaty)
It was the first time since the resumption of diplomatic relations in 1956 that negotiations for a Japan-Soviet peace treaty as such had been conducted in Japan, as mentioned above, and this fact itself was of significance.
In the negotiations for a peace treaty between Foreign Minister Miyazawa and Foreign Minister Gromyko and also in the latter's meeting with Prime Minister Miki, Japan once again made clear its basic position that the Habomai island group and the islands of Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu are an integral part of Japanese territory which should be reverted to Japan on legal and historical grounds. The Japanese side further told Foreign Minister Gromyko that the return of these islands is the unanimous desire of the Japanese people and that the desire will not die with the passage of time. Arguing that the time had come for Japan and the Soviet Union to conclude a peace treaty by settling the territorial issue, 20 years after the resumption of their diplomatic relations, the Japanese side strongly called for a promptdecision on the part of the Soviet Union for the reversion of the Habomai island group and the islands of Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu, The Soviet attitude toward the issue remained unchanged, and Foreign Minister Gromyko repeated, in the course of negotiations, that there still existed a discrepancy over the territorial issue between the Soviet Union and Japan.
As the result of several rounds of negotiations, the Japanese side had the Soviet side confirm, in their joint communique, the whole text of the relevant part ("Both sides shall . . . settle the unresolved problems remaining since World War II and conclude a peace treaty . . .") of the Japan-Soviet joint communique, dated October 10, 1973, which was prepared on the understanding that the northern territorial issue is included among "unresolved problems remaining since World War II." The joint communique also specifically mentioned that negotiations would be continued for the early conclusion of a peace treaty, and that Foreign Minister Miyazawa accepted Foreign Minister Gromyko's invitation to make an official visit to the Soviet Union in 1976 to continue negotiations for a peace treaty, and to hold regular consultations between the two Foreign Ministers.
In the course of the negotiations held in Japan, Foreign Minister Gromyko again suggested to Japan that the two countries conclude a "treaty of good neighborliness and cooperation," while continuing negotiations for a peace treaty, on the grounds that the conclusion of the latter would take time. Japan had already answered the Soviet Union, regarding the proposed treaty, in Prime Minister Miki's letter mentioned in (B) (a) above, that the two countries should settle the northern territorial issue and conclude a peace treaty first. Japan once again made this basic position clear to Foreign Minister Gromyko.
(b) Other Problems between Japan and the Soviet Union
(i) Safe Fishing Operations
Foreign Minister Miyazawa and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Abe requested Foreign Minister Gromyko's cooperation, on humanitarian grounds, in securing an early resumption of negotiations between the Ministers in charge aimed at preventing unhappy incidents involving the capture of Japanese fishermen in waters around the northern territories, and asked for the release of all Japanese fishermen being detained in the Soviet Union. In reply to this, Foreign Minister Gromyko stated that there was no objection to the resumption of negotiations over the problem of safe fishing operations and informed Foreign Minister Miyazawa of a Soviet decision to release all Japanese fishermen being detained. As a result, all 32 Japanese fishermen then being detained returned to Japan in January.
(ii) Operations of Soviet Fishing Boats in Waters off the Japanese Coast
Foreign Minister Miyazawa and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Abe pointed out the fact that the operations of Soviet fishing boats in waters off the Japanese coast continued to cause damage to fishing gear and other equipment of Japanese fishermen, despite the Japan-Soviet Agreement on Fishing Operations which came into force in October 1975, and called for Soviet fishing boats to refrain from operating in waters within 12 nautical miles from the Japanese coast. Foreign Minister Gromyko stated that it was necessary to settle individual problems through the Committee for the Disposal of Claims for Compensation for Fishery Damage to be established under the agreement.
(iii) Problems of Visiting Graves and Non-Repatriated Japanese
Foreign Minister Miyazawa asked Foreign Minister Gromyko to ensure, for humanitarian reasons, that, as is Japan's wish, visits could be made to the graves of Japanese in the northern territories, Sakhalin and the mainland of the Soviet Union, and further to ensure the early repatriation of those Japanese obliged to remain in the Soviet Union since the end of the war who wished to return to Japan. Foreign Minister Gromyko promised that the Soviet Union, in principle, would give favorable consideration to the Japanese request to allow visits to graves, and that it would give consideration to specific requests made directly on the part of Japanese remaining in the Soviet Union wishing to return to Japan.
(2) Eastern Europe
Relations between Japan and East European countries have expanded in recent years from ordinary trade and economic relations to interchange in such fields as culture, science and technology, and in person-to-person contacts. It is Japan's policy to promote relations with the countries of Eastern Europe in spite of the difference in systems between Japan and those countries. In 1975, Dr. Gunther Mittag, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic (in January-February), President Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania (in April) and Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov of Bulgaria (in June) visited Japan. These countries conducted an active series of cultural events, including exhibitions and concerts.
Against the background of such developments, Japan, in1975, concluded a cultural agreement, as well as a scientific and technical cooperation agreement with Romania, a cultural agreement with Bulgaria, and a treaty of commerce and navigation with Hungary, and opened negotiations for the conclusion of treaties to prevent double taxation on incomes with Romania and Czechoslovakia. Thus Japan sought to improve the framework in which to promote relations with these countries. Of the agreements, the Japan-Romania Scientific and Technical Cooperation Agreement was of particular significance because it was the first such agreement ever concluded with an East European country.
Trade between Japan and Eastern Europe has grown year by year, with two-way trade exceeding $1,000 million in 1974.It dropped about 10 per cent in 1975 due to the effects of the international economic situation. However, the countries of Eastern Europe need the introduction of the advanced industrial technology of the West to improve the livelihood of their people and develop their economies, and they are important to Japan as export markets for industrial plants.
As Japan's imports from Eastern Europe have decreased, so has the trade imbalance increased. To rectify this imbalance, it is necessary for Japan to make greater efforts to increase its imports from abroad while taking such measures as importing goods from the East European countries or contributing to the expansion of their export capacity as well as cooperating with them in overseas markets.
7. The Middle and Near East
The Middle and Near East has gained increasingly more importance in Japan's diplomacy in recent years. There fore, relations between Japan and that region, which have not been particularly close partly because of the great geographical distance between them, have been growing rapidly closer as the role of that region has grown larger in international politics and in the international economy.
The importance of the Middle and Near East lies in the fact that the Arab-Israeli dispute seriously affects the peace and stability of the world, while at the same time, the area, possessing oil reserves equivalent to about two-thirds of the world's total reserves, can exert a great influence on the world's energy situation and the entire international economy. Other elements contributing to the growing importance of the-area lie in the facts that these countries are concentrating their efforts on economic development and in the process are emerging as important trading partners of Japan, and furthermore, as most of these countries belong to the Arab bloc, they are in a position to influence international politics through joint action.
Japan, earnestly hoping that a fair and lasting peace will be established in the Middle East, supports international efforts to that end and intends to promote the expansion of economic and trade relations, economic and technical cooperation, as well as cultural exchange and person-to-person contacts with the area.
Major events related to these points in 1975 were as follows:
As for the Arab-Israeli dispute, Egypt and Israel concluded an agreement in September 1975 and the tensions in the Middle and Near East were greatly eased. Japan promptly supported the agreement, considering it necessary to implement the U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 242 and to respect the legitimate rights of the Palestinians under the U.N. Charter for the establishment of a lasting peace in the Middle East. In the United Nations and other forums, Japan has been calling for talks among all parties concerned, aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the dispute, and intends to continue such efforts.
Japan depends on the Middle East for more than 70 per cent of its total oil requirement, which accounts for the greater part of its total energy consumption. The Middle East is, so to speak, Japan's energy source. Reflecting this fact, trade with the Middle and Near East accounts for 20 per cent of Japan's total trade, ranking third after that with the United States and Southeast Asia. The countries in that region are concentrating their efforts on nation-building, and their growing demand for imports is expected to increase further. Japan intends to offer all possible cooperation in their efforts in developing their countries and has extended credits, dispatched experts and accepted trainees and students. As part of such efforts, Japan concluded an economic and technical cooperation agreement with Iraq in August 1974 and a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia in March 1975.
Japan also puts emphasis on the expansion of person-to-person contacts and cultural exchange with the people of the Middle and Near East. Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Chubun Hatano visited Middle and Near East countries in August 1975, while International Trade and Industry Minister Toshio Komoto also toured the region in January 1976. Many prominent leaders visited Japan from the Middle and Near East and contributed to the promotion of mutual understanding. Among them were Prime Minister Osman Ahmed of Morocco in February 1976 and King Hussein of Jordan in March 1976.
Japan has also been promoting interchange in the cultural field, introducing such measures as the dispatching of a floating fair and cultural missions and the holding of exhibitions. Cultural and person-to-person interchange being the most effective way to foster a sense of amity and under-standing between nations, Japan intends to continue its efforts in this field.
(1) The basis of Japan's diplomatic policy toward Africa is the promotion of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. Following the successful official visit to Africa in 1974, by then Foreign Minister Toshio Kimura, which marked an epoch in the relations of friendship and cooperation between Japan and Africa, Japan in 1975 conducted its diplomacy toward Africa with a view to expanding the achievements of the Foreign Minister's visit.
(2) Settling the problem of southern Africa is a matter of the greatest political concern to the African countries. Japan, who holds legitimate the desire for self-determination, entertains deep understanding and sympathy for this desire, and has thus taken the following concrete steps from the fundamental position to spare no effort in helping solve the problem in a fair manner.
(A) When the former Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Cape Verde and Sao Tome Principe respectively achieved independence, Japan promptly recognized them, Prime Minister Miki extending his felicitations to the Heads of State concerned, reflecting Japan's full support for the early attainment of independence by non-self-governing territories.
(B) To assure that the sanctions against Southern Rhodesia would bring about the intended results, Japan, under the decisions of the U.N. Committee on Sanctions against Southern Rhodesia, took steps to call the attention of its citizens to the situation so as to have them refrain from making group tours to that area.
(C) Japan made contributions amounting to $150,000 in1975 toward the U.N. Southern African funds (the Educational and Training Program for Southern Africa, Trust Fund for South Africa, and the Fund for Namibia) which are aimed at providing relief as well as education and training for victims of racial discrimination and colonial rule in southern Africa.
(3) Japan continued to strengthen its economic and technical cooperation with the African countries, complementing their own efforts in nation-building.
(A) Negotiations that Japan had been holding with Ghana with a view to cooperating in the relief of Ghana from its external debts accumulated during the Nkrumah ad-ministration finally produced agreement and in March an exchange of notes concerning the relief of Ghana's commercial debts was signed.
(B) As for financial cooperation with African countries, notes were exchanged for yen credits totalling 19,700 million.
(C) For the relief of victims of natural disasters and returning refugees of Mozambique, Japan contributed through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, \12O million in emergency aid to Mozambique, immediately before its independence.
(D) African countries on the road to nation-building place great expectations in Japanese economic and technical cooperation and, in this connection, Japan received the visits of such prominent officials as Nigerian Commissioner for Petroleum and Energy, Dr. Motia Tonjo Akobo, and of the Niger economic mission led by Mr. Mounkail Arouna, Minister of State in charge of foreign affairs and cooperation. Japan intends to promote mutual cooperation with African countries to the greatest possible extent.
(4) As concrete moves to promote close and friendly relations between Japan and Africa, Zambia and Senegal successively established their embassies in Tokyo.
Mutual understanding through person-to-person contacts between Japan and Africa was promoted by the visits to Japan of President Bongo of Gabon, President Jawara of Gambia, Foreign Minister Mwaanga of Zambia and many other prominent persons of ministerial rank.
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