Review of Recent Developments
in Japan's Foreign Relations
CHAPTER ONE: MAJOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS IN 1976
CHAPTER TWO: THE BASIC OBJECTIVES OF JAPAN'S DIPLOMACY
CHAPTER THREE: DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS MADE BY JAPAN
Section 1. Promotion of Relations with Other Countries
Section 2. Efforts to Solve Multilateral Issues, including Problems of the Global Economy
Section 3. Contribution to the Solution of the North-South Problem
Section 4. Cooperation in United Nations Activities
Section 5. Promotion of Mutual Understanding and Cultural Interchange with Foreign Countries
The following is a translation of Part I of the 1976 Diplomatic Bluebook, published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The edition covers the 1976 calendar year. The translation was prepared by the Foreign Press Center/Japan.
The year 1976 was on the whole a relatively uneventful one for the international community, though harboring various unstable factors, in comparison to 1974, which was seriously affected by the oil crisis and 1975 when the conflict in Indochina came to an end.
The United States, being occupied with its Presidential election, was not in a position to take bold initiatives on major international issues. The Soviet Union was also generally cautious on specific problems although it pledged itself to the promotion of a policy for relaxation of tensions, in part because of the impossibility of predicting domestic developments in the U.S. Neither was there any discernible activism in China's foreign policy following the deaths among the top leadership. At the same time, most of the countries involved in international disputes and conflicts assumed a more moderate stance by trying to localize their conflicts and prevent them from getting aggravated.
This lull in activity has meant that the many pending problems of grave concern of 1975 and earlier which affect overall international relations have been carried over for solution in 1977 and beyond, including the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), Sino-American relations, the Sino-Soviet conflict, the problem of the Korean Peninsula, the need for peace in the Middle East, the issue of southern Africa the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction in Central Europe (MBFR), and many more.
For the global economy, the groping for the way to recover from the devastating effect of the 1973 oil crisis and to attain stable growth anew remained the most important issues in 1976. The advanced industrial democracies continued their efforts for mutual cooperation to cope with this problem, but some of them failed to alleviate the grave economic difficulties of unemployment, inflation, currency instability, and balance-of-payments disequilibrium, giving rise to a deepening sense of stalemate.
Efforts for dialogue toward solution of the North-South problem were also continued in 1976, and in the process the demands of the developing nations were increasingly articulated. At the same time, both sides' awareness of North-South interdependence was deepened, and the search continues for more concrete measures to resolve the problems at issue.
On maritime questions, the rapid increase in the number of nations such as the U.S., Canada, the European Community (EC) nations, Norway, and the U.S.S.R. establishing 200-mile fishery zones has meant increasing international acceptance of such zones as a new maritime regime.
Under these global circumstances, the international community has come to have unprecedentedly large expectations of Japan as the second-largest economic power in the free world. It will not be easy to solve the many problems currently confronting the world today, yet Japan must make a positive effort commensurate with its national strength to contribute to their solution, recognizing that our responding to international expectations will serve for the formation of international relations better reflecting Japan's interests.
This first part of the Diplomatic Bluebook outlines in Chapter One the international environment as it affected Japan in 1976, sets forth in Chapter Two the basic objectives of Japan's diplomacy in such a global environment, and explains in Chapter Three the actual diplomatic efforts made by Japan.