Review of Recent Developments
in Japan's Foreign Relations
Public Information Bureau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
CHAPTER 1. INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT SURROUNDING JAPAN
CHAPTER 2. BASIC OBJECTIVES OF JAPAN'S DIPLOMACY
CHAPTER 3. DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS MADE BY JAPAN
Section 1. Promotion of Relations with Other Countries
Section 2. Contributions to a Harmonious Development of the World Economy
Section 3. Contributions to Settling the North-South Problem
Section 4. Cooperation in and Contributions to Various Activities of the United Nations
Section 5. Promotion of Mutual Understanding and Cultural Interchange
Diplomatic Bluebook for 1974
The following is a translation of Part I, General Review, of the 1974 Diplomatic Bluebook, published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This edition covers the 1974 calendar year.
Nineteen seventy-four was the year in which the world was seriously affected by the oil problem. The oil problem which emerged as the oil-producing countries resorted to oil strategy in the autumn of 1973 caused major changes in the entire political and economic state of the world in the year under review.
As a result of the sharp rise in oil prices, inflation, already in progress in all countries, accelerated and many countries were troubled by a deterioration in their balance of international payments as well as serious recession. The world economy entered a state of very serious stagnation and disequilibrium.
On the other hand, the voice of the oil-producing countries in the international arena increased greatly, and the developing countries joined forces in international forums to put forth various new demands.
In the world of today where the international relationship of interdependence has deepened, it is more important than ever before for the countries of the world to adjust the differences in their interests in order to achieve the sound development of the entire world. How to realize this is an important international challenge all countries face today.
In the field of international politics, the moves toward dialogue and the easing of tension by the super-powers of the East and West, which have been continuing for several years, continued to develop in 1974, although various factors of conflict remained. On the other hand, the conflict between China and the Soviet Union saw no new development, and various elements causing instability in Asia and the Middle East persisted. After the turn of 1975 , the situation in Indochina underwent sudden changes and, as a result, the situation in its adjacent areas turned fluid.
In the United States, the development of the Watergate affair led to the resignation of President Nixon, an event unprecedented in American history, and the Ford Administration was inaugurated. The change of Presidents and the series of events related to it no doubt had considerable impact on international politics.
The so-called detente between the East and West was made possible under the military balance involving sophisticated nuclear arms between the United States and the Soviet Union and the alliance of the Western countries. However the world continues to contain factors of instability and there exist areas fraught with the danger of disputes emerging.
To achieve peace and stability of the world in this situation, it is necessary for all countries to exercise self-restraint and patiently continue to practice dialogue and cooperation.
Japan, having enjoyed peace over the past 30 years since the end of World War II and having undergone postwar reconstruction and continued smooth economic development, has come to occupy the position of a stabilizing force in the world. The world today is experiencing a major change, and in this situation, Japan must make even greater efforts to ensure its own security and contribute to the maintenance of stable international relations and to the furthering of cooperative relations among nations by unerringly choosing its future course and by responding flexibly to change.