Section 1. Promotion of Relations with Other Countries



I. Asia


1. Asian Overview


Japan and the Asian countries are neighbors sharing peace and prosperity. Based on this recognition, Japan's basic policy toward this region aims at maintaining and strengthening good neighborly relations and promoting mutual understanding with these countries while contributing to the stability and prosperity of this region by extending cooperation and assistance for their economic development. Particularly to be noted is the speech delivered by Prime Minister Fukuda in Manila in August at the end of his visit tot he nations of Southeast Asia. In his speech, Prime Minister Fukuda made clear the following three principles concerning Japan's basic attitude toward Southeast Asia: (1) Japan is committed to peace, and rejects the role of a military power; (2) Japan will do its best to consolidate the relationship of mutual confidence and trust based on "heart-to-heart" understanding with the nations of Southeast Asia; and (3) Japan will cooperate positively with ASEAN while aiming at fostering a relationship based on mutual understanding with the countries of Indochina and will thus contribute to the building of peace and prosperity throughout Southeast Asia.


2. Korean Peninsula


(1) The maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is important for the security of Japan and East Asia. However, there still remain confrontation and tension on the Peninsula.

Japan hopes that tensions on the Korean Peninsula will be eased as soon as possible. Japan considers it essential that North and South overcome mutual distrust and resume the substantive dialogue in accordance with the spirit of their joint statement of 1972.

With regard to the withdrawal of U.S. ground troops from the Republic of Korea, Japan takes the view that it is important that this plan be implemented in such a manner as does not endanger the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

(2) In view of the present situation on the Korean Peninsula, where peaceful co-existence is yet to be realized, the maintenance and development of friendly and cooperative relations with the Republic of Korea forms the basis of Japan's policy. There was progress in their bilateral relations in 1977, such as Japanese Diet ratification of the Japan-R.O.K. Agreement on the Continental Shelf in June and the holding of the Japan-R.O.K. Regular Ministerial Conference in September for its first meeting in two years.

In its relations with North Korea, Japan intends above all to promote mutual understanding by gradually building up interchanges in such fields as trade, personnel, and culture.


3. China and Mongolia


(1) China


In Japan-China relations, September 1977 marked the fifth anniversary of the normalization of relations between the two countries under the Japan-China Joint Communique issued in September 1972. During this period, their relations made steady progress as a whole, leading to the conclusion of five working agreements (trade, air transport, shipping, fisheries, and trademarks). Japan has been trying to solidify its friendly relations with China on the basis of their Joint Communique in the realization that the maintenance of their friendly relations is important for the peace and stability of Asia.

A. As for the working and other agreements, the Japan-China Trademark Agreement concerning trademark protection between the two countries was signed in Peking on September 29 on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the normalization of bilateral relations, and the Japan-China Service Agreement on the Establishment of Meteorological Circuits, which provides for exchanges of weather information, was also signed in Peking that same month.

B. As regards the problem of concluding the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Foreign Minister Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Huang Hua exchanged views at a September 29 dinner held in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the normalization of relations as they were both attending the U.N. General Assembly Session. On February 1978, Japanese Ambassador Sato held talks with Foreign Vice Minister Han Nien-lung in Peking.

C. In economic relations trade between the two countries in 1977 totalled $3,480 million, up 14.8% from the preceding year. In February 1978, a private long-term trade agreement covering eight years was signed providing for trade totalling about $20,000 million both ways during the eight years.

D. In the field of cultural and personnel exchanges, a mission representing the Chinese press visited Japan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first such visit since the normalization of relations.


(2) Mongolia


Japan's relations with Mongolia have made steady progress since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972. In August 1977, the pending Japan-Mongolia Economic Cooperation Agreement went into force.


4. Five ASEAN Countries and Burma


In support of the efforts being made by the five ASEAN countries and Burma to consolidate their political, economic, and social foundations, Japan has been endeavoring to promote further economic and technical cooperation with these countries and to build stable relations of mutual trust and confidence through a broad range of dialogue and exchanges.

In this context, particularly to be noted among Japan's diplomatic efforts in 1977 were the realization of the summit talks between Japan and ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur in August followed by Prime Minister Fukuda's tour of the six countries. Through such high-level visits, Japan reaffirmed its positive support for ASEAN as an organization and emphasized its intention to promote further relations of mutual trust with the ASEAN countries and Burma based on "heart-to-heart" contacts. This Japanese posture has also drawn favorable response from the six countries.

Japan's diplomatic efforts to have the leaders of these countries visit Japan as guests of the Japanese Government also yielded remarkable results in 1977. In April, Philippine President and Mrs. Marcos visited Japan as state guests for the second time in 10 years. In May, Singapore's Prime Minister and Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew paid an official visit, followed by Thai Prime Minister and Mrs. Tanin in September, and Malaysian Prime Minister and Mrs. Hussein Onn in September. Their visits further strengthened the friendly bilateral relations between Japan and these countries and produced concrete results in the promotion of economic cooperation and other matters.

In addition to the summit diplomacy mentioned above, Japan tried to improve and increase personnel and cultural exchanges at all levels with those countries.


5. Indochina


Observing carefully the recent improvement in relations between the Indochinese and the ASEAN countries, Japan made the following diplomatic efforts on the basis of the three principles outlined in the above-mentioned Manila speech by Prime Minister Fukuda with regard to the relations with the three Indochinese countries endeavoring for national reconstruction under their new Governments established in the wake of the Vietnam War.

In its relations with Vietnam, Japan continued its efforts to settle peacefully the question of debts incurred by the former South Vietnamese Government to Japan, with the understanding that settlement of this issue is prerequisite for future economic cooperation with Vietnam.

With regard to Laos, Japan intends to maintain and develop its traditionally friendly relations with that country under its new Government established in December 1975.

In its relations with Cambodia, Japan restored diplomatic relations on August 2, 1976, and diplomatic contacts between the two countries have since been maintained through their respective Embassies in Peking.


6. Southwest Asia


(1) Because of Southwest Asia's important geographical position astride the routes linking the Middle East with East Asia, and also because the complex interests of the United States, China, and the Soviet Union are intertwined there, the peace and stability of Southwest Asia have a great bearing on the peace and stability not only of Asia but of the entire world. Based on its policy of further strengthening its traditionally friendly and cooperative relations with the Southwest Asian nations, Asian nations like Japan, Japan made various diplomatic efforts to extend maximum cooperation for the stability and development of that region.

(2) Foreign Minister Hatoyama paid official visits to Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in July. It was the first visit in seven years by a Japanese Foreign Minister to India and the first ever to Bangladesh and Nepal. The visits were of great significance in that they further promoted Japan's traditionally friendly relations with the Southwest Asian nations through economic and technical cooperation and broadened the scope of Japan' s diplomacy in Asia.

(3) In late October, Japanese Dietman Takashi Hayakawa of the House of Representatives visited Bangladesh as Ambassador Extraordinary to convey the Japanese Government's appreciation for the efforts of that Government in connection with the hijacking of a Japan Air Lines aircraft in September.



II. Oceania


In Oceania, Australia and New Zealand are advanced democracies which, like Japan, belong to the Asia-Pacific region. They have maintained and developed close political and economic relations with Japan based on not only the mutual economic complementarity of their exports to Japan of mineral resources and agricultural products and their imports of Japanese manufactured goods but also on the operation of Japanese fishing vessels in these two countries' off-shore waters.

Recognizing that this interdependency is the basis of its relations with these countries, Japan intends to strengthen and diversify such relations and to establish an unshakable relationship with them in the realization that cooperation with these two Oceanic nations is of essential importance for the stability and prosperity of the whole Asia-Pacific region.

In the Pacific islands area, which covers Papua New Guinea, Fiji, etc., aspirations for economic and social development have recently grown, as illustrated by the Solomon Islands' moves toward independence. Moreover, there has been enhanced regional cooperation for development through such organizations as the South Pacific Forum and others, for example, for the development of fishery resources in keeping with the recent developments in the international maritime order.

Japan intends to promote friendly and cooperative relations with these nations through strengthening its economic cooperation to this area in response to their self-help efforts for economic and social development.

In August, Prime Minister Fukuda had talks in Kuala Lumpur with Prime Minister Fraser of Australia and Prime Minister Muldoon of New Zealand. During the talks with Prime Minister Fraser, the interdependent nature of the relations between Japan and Australia was confirmed and efforts were made to eliminate such sources of friction as the sugar and beef problems. With Prime Minister Muldoon, there was a frank exchange of views on the New Zealand product access to Japanese market and Japanese access to New Zealand fishery areas.

In December, Prime Minister Somare of Papua New Guinea paid an official visit to Japan and Japan promised to extend positive cooperation to the national development program of Papua New Guinea.



III. North America


1.The United States


(1) Japan and the United States, as advanced industrial democracies sharing the basic ideals of freedom and democracy, have developed close cooperative relations in a wide range of fields, such as politics, economics, security, science and technology, medical science, education, and culture. The two countries have also been promoting "Japanese-American Cooperation in the Global Context" in order to solve the various global problems in today's increasingly interdependent world. The maintenance and development of such friendly relations with the United States is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy.

The United States also attaches great importance to its relations with Japan. As the new U.S. Ambassador to Japan Mansfield said (in his statement on assuming his post in Tokyo on June 7, 1977), "Never before have our two great countries shared so many common goals. Nor perhaps has the future presented us with so many common international challenges . . . In my recent talks with President Carter, he stressed the importance that he personally attaches to sustaining the closest possible relationship between Japan and the United States. He regards such ties as the cornerstone of American foreign policy-and as an essential part of any effort to solve the problems facing the world community."

In 1977, the Japanese Government furthered its dialogue with the United States, including Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to the United States, and tried to solve diverse pending issues and promote expanded friendly relations between the two countries through government-to-government consultations at the top level, such as the bilateral consultations on economic affairs and the negotiations on atomic energy, and also at the working level.

(2) Prime Minister Fukuda visited the United States and held talks with President Carter on March 21-22, 1977. With "Japanese-American Cooperation in the Global Context" as the main theme, the two leaders had a frank exchange of views on issues facing the world economy, the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region bilateral trade, and the peaceful use of atomic energy and nuclear non-proliferation, and they reaffirmed that cooperative relations between the two countries will be strengthened in dealing with problems affecting the entire international community.


2. Canada


Japan and Canada, as advanced industrial democracies sharing the basic ideals of freedom and democracy, have developed close cooperative relations in many fields, such as politics, economics, culture, and science and technology. In 1977, the two nations continued their positive efforts to promote these relations at both the Government and private levels.

The Governments of both countries maintain close consultations on bilateral as well as multilateral problems of mutual concern. In June 1977, Foreign Minister Hatoyama visited Canada and held talks with Secretary of State for External Affairs Jamieson. In January 1978, Secretary Jamieson visited Japan for a frank exchange of views with Foreign Minister Sonoda. On that occasion, the negotiations for revision of the Atomic Energy Cooperation Agreement were virtually concluded, and the embargo imposed in early 1977 on shipments of Canadian uranium ore to Japan was lifted.

In the economic field, the Japan-Canada Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation held its first meeting in Vancouver in June 1977, under the Framework of Economic Co-operation signed in October 1976. There were also other active economic exchanges, including concrete efforts to establish a forum for regular consultations between Japanese and Canadian businessmen, a project agreed upon as a result of the visit of a Japanese economic mission to Canada in 1976.



IV. Latin America


1. Japan's diplomacy toward Latin America is aimed not only at maintaining but also at further expanding the existing friendly and cooperative relations with the countries of this region.

2. In recent years, most of the countries in this region have maintained political stability and, with the effective use of their rich natural resources, have actively promoted economic and social development and raised their educational and cultural levels. As a result, Latin America has become increasingly important in world politics and the Latin American nations are expected to play an ever-larger role.

At the same time, Japan has continued its tireless efforts to broaden and deepen the cooperative relations with Latin American countries in various fields such as exploitation of natural resources and economic cooperation so as to meet their expectations to the maximum extent possible while respecting their own initiatives and efforts for development.

3. In the political field, several diplomatic initiatives have been taken on the Japanese side, as exemplified by Foreign Minister Hatoyama's talks with his counterparts from Latin America during the U.N. General Assembly Session, which talks enabled both sides to exchange views on the general international political and economic situation, Japan-Latin American relations, and other issues of mutual interest. As such, these talks' were highly significant in deepening mutual understanding.

In the economic field, although relations between Japan and Latin America as a whole have been fairly close, these close economic relations have tended to be concentrated in a few specific countries. Therefore, from the point of view of seeking more balanced relations, Japan particularly welcomed governmental missions from Ecuador, Panama, Chile, and a few other countries with which economic ties have formerly been relatively weak.



V. Western Europe


1. Relations between Japan and the West European countries have grown beyond the scope of their traditionally friendly relations to become a very important part of trilateral relations among Japan, the United States, and Western Europe. Japan, the United States, and Western Europe are expected to take the lead in the free world, and close cooperation among them is indispensable for ensuring the smooth development of the world economy and maintaining world peace and stability. In this context, it is necessary to strengthen further the relations between Japan and Western Europe, relations which have formerly been somewhat neglected in comparison with Japan-U.S. and U.S.-Europe relations.

In line with this basic understanding, Japan made diplomatic efforts in 1977 to promote even closer relations of cooperation with Western Europe and to settle amicably the problems of trade, the biggest issue pending between them, through consultations with the EC Commission, including EC Commission President Jenkins's visit to Japan in October and External Economic Affairs Minister Ushiba's visit to the EC in December 1977 and January 1978 and through various international forums such as the summit meeting of industrialized democracies in London in May.

2. On the various trade and commercial problems between Japan and Western Europe which surfaced in the latter half of 1976 against the background of the economic situation in the EC, especially the problem of the EC's discontent over the trade imbalance, the EC's tendency to want to treat these problems as political issues was temporarily alleviated as a result of bilateral consultations on specific issues.

However, EC apprehensions grew again in 1977 as the trade imbalance continued to increase and intensive consultations were held between the two sides at the request of the EC.

3. In order to stablilize Japan-Western Europe relations, it is important that we try to prevent friction in the field of trade and to build the entire relationship on a broader and deeper foundation. To this end, it is essential that we broaden the conduits between Japan and Western Europe and promote mutual understanding based on more solid and broader cooperation in the political, economic, and cultural fields.



VI. The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe


1. The Soviet Union


Although the Soviet Union's political ideology and social system are different from Japan's, the Soviet Union is an important neighbor for Japan. Therefore, the basis of Japan's foreign policy toward the Soviet Union lies in establishing 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 both countries but will also make an important contribution to peace and stability in East Asia and the world at large.

Japan has endeavored to promote its relations with the Soviet Union from this basic position, and smooth progress has been achieved in the bilateral relations in recent years in such fields as trade, economic cooperation, and cultural and personnel exchanges. For instance, Japan's two-way trade with the Soviet Union in 1977 totalled about $3,360 million to make Japan one of the Soviet Union's major trading partners among the developed nations of the West. As for Japan's economic cooperation for Siberian development, steps have been taken for implementation of seven projects since 1966, with the total Japanese credits to the Soviet Union amounting to about $1,470 million.

Japan-Soviet relations have thus made steady progress in practical and working matters. However, there remains one important problem between Japan and the Soviet Union: that 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. This remains the biggest issue pending between the two countries.

Japan has been making efforts to settle this issue from the standpoint that the resolution of the Northern Territories problem and the conclusion of a peace treaty are indispensable for establishing truly stable and lasting friendly relations between Japan and the Soviet Union. In January 1978, Foreign Minister Sonoda visited the Soviet Union and continued negotiations with Foreign Minister Gromyko for the conclusion of a peace treaty. This problem was also discussed when Foreign Minister Sonoda met with Premier Kosygin.

The year 1977 was also eventful in that the territorial issue came to be highlighted at the time of the Japan-Soviet fishery negotiations which followed the declaration by the Soviet Union of a 200-mile fishery zone. It was significant that the Japanese people's strong support for reversion of the Northern Territories was again reaffirmed on this occasion. The Soviet Union declared the 200-mile fishery zone in an Order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issued on December 10, 1976, and announced implementing regulations, including designation of the applicable areas under the Order, in a Decree of the Ministerial Council issued on February 24, 1977 (the regulations going into effect on March 1). Under the Decree, the waters around the four northern islands which are the inherent territory of Japan were declared under Soviet jurisdiction, and the Government of Japan immediately lodged a protest against the Soviet measure in a statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on February 25 to the effect that Japan could not recognize such a unilateral action on the part of the Soviet Union.

On March 15, Japan and the Soviet Union resumed negotiations in Moscow for an interim agreement concerning Japanese fishing operations in the Soviet Union's 200-mile fishery zone. After protracted negotiations complicated by, among other things, Soviet insistence that Japan accept a Soviet 200-mile zone including the waters off the four northern islands, an agreement was signed on May 27. Although Japanese fishing vessels were compelled to suspend operations in the Soviet 200-mile fishing zone throughout the period of the negotiations, the Government of Japan was able, with the strong popular support of the nation as a whole and the entire Diet membership concerning Japan's claim to the Northern Territories, to conclude these negotiations in such a form as does not in any way prejudice Japan's position on this territorial issue. Subsequently, another interim agreement, this one providing for the terms and conditions of Soviet fishing operations in Japan's 200-mile fishery zone, was concluded in August and agreement was reached in December to extend the two interim agreements for one year beyond their original dates of expiration at the end of 1977. Negotiations for the conclusion of a Japan-Soviet long-term agreement on fishery cooperation aimed at placing the bilateral fishery relations on a long-term, stable basis were carried over into 1978.


2. Eastern Europe


Japan's basic diplomatic policy toward the East European countries is to strengthen friendly relations through economic, cultural, and personnel exchanges. In 1977, efforts were continued to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Japan and these countries through wide-ranging exchanges.

Agreements on scientific and technological cooperation and on cultural exchanges were concluded between Japan and the German Democratic Republic.

Japan's two-way trade with the countries of Eastern Europe, after having dwindled in 1975 and 1976, turned upward in 1977 to total some $1,100 million (vs. about $860 million in 1976). Japan recorded major trade surpluses with almost all the East European countries, and the issue of how to rectify the trade imbalance has become a major issue with these countries.




VII. Near and Middle East


1. Both as an important source of oil supplies and as an export market, the Near and Middle East has had great influence in recent years on international politics and economics. It is considered that any grave conflict erupting in this region would have a serious impact on the peace and stability of the world and would, in turn, seriously affect Japan's economic development.

Fully cognizant of this situation, Japan earnestly hopes that a just and lasting peace will be promptly achieved in the Middle East, and Japan has consistently supported international efforts to this end. Japan has been maintaining and promoting friendly relations with the nations of this region through strengthening economic and trade relations, promoting economic and technical cooperation, and encouraging personnel and cultural exchanges. Foreign Minister Sonoda also made an epochal visit to the Middle East countries in January 1978, the first Japanese Foreign Minister ever to do so.

2. The Middle East peace problem entered a new phase as a result of the direct dialogue which was started between Egypt and Israel on the occasion of President Sadat's visit to Israel in November 1977. Seeking a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, Japan has strongly advocated the need to fully implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and to respect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the U.N. Charter. Japan has been supporting and cooperating with the peace-making efforts of all the countries concerned in such forums as the United Nations.

3. In 1977, trade and other economic relations between Japan and the Near and Middle East countries grew closer. Oil is the staple import from that region, and the Near and Middle East oil-producing countries supply about 80% of Japan's total imports of oil. Japanese exports to the Near and Middle East, centering on machinery and industrial plants, also increased. In 1977, trade with that region accounted for about 20% of the total value of Japan's foreign trade, and the Near and Middle East ranks with North America as an important trading partner for Japan. Many countries in that region have been taking advantage of their ample oil revenues to advance domestic economic and social development, and their economic relations with Japan are expected to grow broader and stronger.

The Near and Middle East countries strongly expect various forms of economic and technical cooperation from Japan and the other developed industrial nations in connection with their economic and social development and industrialization. Japan has been trying to promote and expand such economic and technical cooperation because of the importance of that region for stable energy supplies and because it is important to contribute to the political stabilization of the region as a whole by cooperating with the economic and social development of the countries there. Japan extended yen credits amounting to \57,900 million to the six nations of Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq, Jordan, and Yemen as economic cooperation in 1977.

4. Japan also emphasizes personnel and cultural exchanges with the Near and Middle East countries. In January 1978, Foreign Minister Sonoda made an official visit to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, the first Japanese Foreign Minister ever to do so, and also stopped over in Iran. In these countries, he held frank exchanges of views with the leaders of these countries on such matters as the Middle East problem, the oil problem, economic and technical cooperation, civil aviation agreements, and cultural exchanges. As such, this was an important initial step in positively conducting Japan's diplomacy vis-a-vis the Near and Middle East.



VIII. Africa


1. Japan has been endeavoring to promote relations of friendship, goodwill, and mutual cooperation with the African nations and to contribute to the improved well-being of the peoples of these nations in view of their efforts for nation-building. In 1977, Japan conducted active diplomacy in order to develop its diverse relations with the African nations into relations of concrete cooperation.

2. The settlement of the problems of southern Africa has been pursued by the African countries as their common goal and greatest desire. It has been Japan's consistent and basic position to extend all possible cooperation to this effort with deep understanding and sympathy for a fair settlement of the problems.

3. Japan continued to strengthen its economic and technical cooperation with the African countries in 1977 from the standpoint of cooperating in their efforts for nation-building.


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