MAJOR DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
MADE BY JAPAN DURING 1981
Section 1. Promotion of Relations with Other Countries
(1) General View
An important pillar of Japan's foreign policy is the positive fulfillment of political and economic roles in order to maintain peace and stability in this region, as well as the further promotion of close relationships with the Asian nations.
In 1981, Asia was generally stable, undergoing no drastic changes. Nevertheless, in the midst of an increasingly severe international economic environment, each nation was forced to cope with difficult situations. The Cambodian problem began to show signs of a deadlock, while the refugee problems of Indochina and Afghanistan have remained unsettled.
Under such circumstances, Prime Minister Suzuki paid official visits to the five ASEAN nations in January, followed by Foreign Minister Ito's visits to Korea in March and to China in April. Foreign Minister Sonoda attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Conference with Dialogue Countries (in Manila) in June and the International Conference on Kampuchea (in New York) in July. Japan was engaged in extremely active diplomatic efforts for the further promotion of peace and stability in Asia.
(2) Korean Peninsula
(a) The maintenance of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula is important for peace and stability in East Asia including Japan. Japan has made various efforts in contributing to the relaxation of tensions in this area. As part of its efforts, Japan attempted to deepen understanding with such nations as China and the United States, which share a deep interest in the Korean Peninsula, strongly hoping for the gradual relaxation of tensions through substantial North-South dialogues. The exchange of views Japan has made with major countries concerned from 1981 to the early part of 1982 regarding the Korean Peninsula include the Suzuki-Reagan talks and working level discussions with China and the Soviet Union.
As for the North-South dialogue, Republic of Korea President Chun Doo Hwan proposed to resume the dialogue without any condition in January and June. Furthermore, a concrete plan to realize the peaceful unification of the peninsula was presented in January 1982. Regretfully, however, such a dialogue has yet to be materialized. Japan feels that the various proposals made by President Chun are constructive and pays close attention to future developments, with the hopes of realizing the resumption of the dialogue.
(b) Japan attaches importance to the promotion of friendly and cooperative relationships with the Republic of Korea. Consequently, it is endeavoring to develop positive ties based on the popular supports of the peoples through the strengthening of exchanges involving every field. The necessity to further develop the relationship between the two countries was confirmed in March 1981 by Foreign Minister Ito and Foreign Minister Lho when the former visited Korea to attend the inauguration ceremonies of President Chun Doo Hwan. Repeated confirmation was made on such occasions as the Japan-R.O.K. Foreign Ministers' Talks in August 1981 and the Japan-R.O.K. 11th Regular Ministerial Conference in September 1981. The R.O.K. has asked for Japan's cooperation in providing financial aid totalling $6 billion for the coming five years in order to assist in its Fifth Five-Year Economic and Social Development Plan. This request has become an important pending issue between Japan and the R.O.K.
(c) Regarding relations with North Korea, Japan continues to follow a policy of developing the exchanges in trade, economic, cultural and other fields step by step.
(a) The maintenance and promotion of friendly and stable relations with China represent one of the major aspects of Japan's foreign policy. The promotion of friendly and cooperative relations with China contributes to peace and stability in the Asian region, and throughout the world as well.
It is desirable for Japan and other Western nations that China promotes its modernization policy and follows an open door policy. From such a point of view, Japan has been providing as much cooperation as possible to China for the development of its economy.
(b) In October 1981, a top-level meeting was held between Prime Minister Suzuki and Premier Zhao Ziyang in Cancun during the occasion of North-South Summit Meeting. At this meeting, both leaders exchanged their views which were primarily concerned with Japan-China relations. At the same time, the two leaders decided to make mutual visits in 1982 which signifies the 10th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China.
In December, the Second Japan-China Ministerial Conference was held in Tokyo, and candid discussions were made on broad issues including international situations and bilateral relations. Furthermore, the plant issue which had been a pending issue from the beginning of 1981, was finally resolved at this conference.
(c) Meanwhile, economic relations have exhibited favorable trends, with the total amount of trade in 1981 between the two nations exceeded $10 billion for the first time.
The exchange of people as well as cultural exchange have continued to increase. In 1981 and 1982, with cooperation from the Chinese side, many Japanese orphans who were left behind in China following the end of World War II, visited Japan in search of their families and relatives. The efforts were well rewarded when more than half of the orphans were able to find relatives.
(4) ASEAN Nations and Burma
(a) In the recent difficult international environment, the ASEAN nations have been able to achieve high economic growth every year by steadily promoting economic and social development, fully utilizing the vitality of their market economy. They have contributed greatly to the stability and development of Southeast Asia through the unity and cooperation of the five countries. Japan positively provides assistance to the ASEAN nations for their self-help efforts to enhance strength both as independent nations and as a region, and supports them in their efforts to make ASEAN an active cooperative regional organization. Japan attaches importance to the promotion of friendly and cooperative relations with Burma which is situated on the boundary of Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia and which has developed unique domestic as well as foreign policies.
(b) In 1981, the situation in Cambodia began to show signs of a deadlock. Faced with such a difficult situation, the ASEAN nations further strengthened their solidarity aiming at a comprehensive political settlement of the Cambodian problem. Cooperation with like-minded nations was also energetically pursued. Cooperative relations between Japan and the ASEAN nations in numerous fields have shown new developments following Prime Minister Suzuki's visit to the region in January 1981.
During his January visit, Prime Minister Suzuki paid official visits to the five ASEAN countries which was his first overseas tour following his election to his post. He had candid discussions with the leaders of these nations on issues related to the situation in Southeast Asia, bilateral relations, cooperative relations between Japan and ASEAN, and so on. He summed up the achievements of his tour at the final stop of the tour in Bangkok, Thailand, and delivered a policy speech (called the Bangkok speech) to explain Japan's basic diplomatic stance (see the joint press release and the Bangkok speech). The Prime Minister's visit greatly contributed to the establishment of firm friendly relations and enhanced mutual trust with the ASEAN nations. During 1981 and at the beginning of 1982, notable progress was made in many areas including various forms of bilateral cooperation and financial aid to ASEAN industrial projects which had been promised by Prime Minister Suzuki. Earnest discussions were also made between ASEAN and Japan on ASEAN human resource development projects and an ASEAN regional study promotion program.
The Foreign Ministers Conference with Dialogue Countries was held in Manila in June. Foreign Minister Sonoda participated together with the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, the EC (a representative was dispatched from the Netherlands, the chairman of the EC), New Zealand, and the United States. At the Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Conference, Foreign Minister Sonoda presented the Japanese view on the following points, as one of the avenues to the resolution of the Cambodian problem:
(i) in the military aspect, the introduction of peace-keeping forces and the phased withdrawal of Vietnamese forces;
(ii) in the political aspect, the holding of a free election under the supervision of a U.N. team, international guarantee by major nations concerned, and the establishment of a demilitarized zone along the Viet Nam-Cambodia border;
(iii) in the humanitarian aspect, the promotion of repatriation of refugees, and assistance for the reconstruction of Cambodia.
Foreign Minister Sonoda also expressed Japan's determination to realize close cooperation with the ASEAN nations in the future for the purpose of resolving the Cambodian issue. In the following month of July, Foreign Minister Sonoda attended the United Nations International Conference on Kampuchea, and positively contributed toward a comprehensive political solution of the Cambodian issue, in cooperation with the ASEAN nations and other nations which share the same wishes.
In addition, as part of the concrete projects for Japan-ASEAN cooperation, the ASEAN Trade, Investment, and Tourism Promotion Center was established in Japan in June 1981, and the Fifth Japan-ASEAN Forum was held in Jakarta in January 1982.
(c) Meanwhile, Burmese President Ne Win and Thai Prime Minister Prem visited Japan in April and November, respectively (see their joint communique). They not only had talks with many leading figures of Japan including Prime Minister Suzuki but also made inspection tours of many areas. On these occasions, discussions were also held between Foreign Minister Ito and Burmese Foreign Minister U Lay Maung and between Foreign Minister Sonoda and Thai Foreign Minister Siddhi. Such visits by the leaders of Burma and Thailand further contributed to the promotion of friendly ties between Japan and the two countries.
(a) Cambodian Problem
In Indochina, Viet Nam's military intervention in Cambodia continued in 1981 and remained to be a factor of instability in Southeast Asia, Japan based its policy on the fundamental position that Vietnamese military intervention constituted a violation of the basic principles of international society that could not be condoned, and that a comprehensive political settlement of the Cambodian problem must be pursued. Japan adhered to the policy of continued support for the ASEAN nations' position, and of making concerted efforts, with these nations, at restoring peace in Cambodia with the support of the voice of the international society.
On the occasion of Prime Minister Suzuki's visit to ASEAN, Japan reconfirmed its basic stance of supporting the position of the ASEAN nations. At the same time, Japan approached the Secretary-General of the United Nations, requesting him to take necessary measures so that the United Nations could hold an international conference on the Cambodian problem proposed by the United Nations Resolution. The same request was also presented to Mr. Essaafi, the Secretary General's special envoy, who later visited the countries concerned.
With such representations from Japan and the ASEAN nations, it was decided that an international conference would be held. As mentioned above, Japan presented an outline for a comprehensive political settlement (Manila proposal) at the Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Conference, so that the coming International Conference on Kampuchea (ICK) would prove to be a truly constructive occasion. At the ICK, Foreign Minister Sonoda appealed to Viet Nam to respond to the voice of the international society and to participate in the negotiations for the resolution of the Cambodian problem. Japan actively contributed to the adoption by consensus of the Declaration and Resolution, and was elected member of the Ad Hoe Committee of the ICK.
At the 36th Meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, Japan cosponsored the ASEAN draft resolution which endorsed the Declaration and Resolution of the ICK. This was adopted by an overwhelming majority, exceeding those of past resolutions presented by ASEAN.
(b) The Indochinese Refugee Problem
Even though seven years have elapsed since refugees began to flow out of the three Indochinese countries, approximately 220,000 refugees still remain in the ASEAN and other nations (as of the end of February 1982). Throughout 1981, it seemed to have developed into a chronic, long-term problem.
Recognizing the fact that the problem still represents a serious issue from the view point of humane aspects as well as a problem affecting the peace and stability of Asia and the Pacific, Japan continued to make utmost efforts in order to resolve the problem in 1981.
In other words, Japan provided substantial financial aid amounting to approximately $81 million in FY1981, following the previous year's amount of $100 million. In April, Japan expanded the resettlement target figure to 3,000 in an attempt to accept more refugees for resettlement in Japan. In addition, it continued to extend first asylum, without imposing virtually any conditions, to the boat people. Thus, Japan made contributions to the three major areas for relief. Furthermore, devoted services by medical teams in Thailand dispatched by the Japanese government and by various private groups were further appreciated throughout 1981. As such, measures to resolve the Indochinese refugee problem implemented by Japan were highly evaluated on an internaional level.
(6) Southwest Asia
The Southwest Asian region accounts for nearly one-fifth (approximately 900 million) of the world's population and is an important region consisting of countries with substantial voice in such fora as the United Nations, the non-aligned movements, and the third world.
Although the region was greatly affected by the military invasion by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, it has witnessed some favorable trends reflecting the stabilization of the region during the past years including the improvement of the relations between India and Pakistan, India and China, and the United States and Pakistan, as well as the development of regional cooperation in South Asia.
Japan has maintained friendly relations with countries in the Southwest Asia and is actively providing them of economic and technical assistance. In the light of the importance of the region, Japan is determined to make further efforts in undertaking even more active political dialogues with the Southwest Asian countries including India and Pakistan. In the course of such dialogues, Japan has welcomed the improvements of relations between India and Pakistan as well as between India and China mentioned earlier, since these improvements would contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in the entire Asian region. Japan also expressed its hope that such trends should further develop in a smooth manner in the future.
(1) Together with Japan, Australia and New Zealand represent the advanced democratic states situated in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan and these two countries enjoy mutually complementary economic relations, with Japan importing mineral and agricultural resources from Australia and New Zealand, and these two purchasing industrial products from Japan. Furthermore, Japanese fishing boats operate in neighboring waters of these two nations. Based on these circumstances, Japan has maintained and developed close relations with Australia and New Zealand both in the political as well as the economic fields.
In full recognition of the importance of trade and economic relations with Australia and New Zealand, Japan has been promoting close and diverse bilateral relations with these nations. Furthermore, from the point of view that cooperation with these two countries is essential for stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan has continued to follow a policy of developing close cooperative ties with Australia and New Zealand.
With regard to Australia, the Sixth Meeting of Japan-Australia Ministerial Committee was held in Tokyo in January 1981 and saw the attendance of the concerned ministers from both countries including Foreign Minister Ito of Japan, Deputy Prime Minister and Trade and Resource Minister Anthony and Foreign Minister Street of Australia. A significant exchange of views was carried out during the conference which primarily centered on bilateral economic relations and the international economic situation. Through the conference, friendly and cooperative relations were further promoted. Furthermore, Japan has made attempts to strengthen and deepen friendly and cooperative ties with Australia by maintaining close discussions on not only bilateral relations but also international political and economic issues.
As for New Zealand, Prime Minister Muldoon officially visited Japan in April 1981. Friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations were further strengthened through top-level talks with Prime Minister Suzuki and other events.
(2) The island nations of the South Pacific region are exerting their self-help efforts toward nation-building while promoting regional cooperation for economic and social development through the South Pacific Forum (SPF) and other fora. They are also placing great expectations on Japan for economic aid.
Japan is determined to positively extend economic cooperation to these island nations in response to their self-help efforts for economic and social development. At the same time, Japan is making efforts to promote friendly and cooperative relations through the exchange of people and is attempting to contribute to stability and prosperity in the region.
In 1981, Japan promoted economic cooperation with these island nations mainly through technical cooperation and grant aid. Furthermore, Japan has strengthened friendly and cooperative ties through invitational diplomacy.
3. North America
(1) The United States
(a) Japan feels it is very important that the advanced democracies of the West should contribute to the overall benefit of the Westin the form of each nation providing cooperation within the limits of the ability and conditions of each nation, while maintaining close contact with each other on issues related to international affairs so as to ensure world peace and prosperity. Japan believes that Japan and the United States should become the core of such cooperation among Western nations. In view of the leading position of both nations in international society and the serious international situation, the need to strengthen and promote friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and the United States, which is the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy, has increased.
On the other hand, the United States is facing extremely difficult domestic problems primarily related to its economy and finance in addition to the relative decline of its national power and international position. Nevertheless, the United States is endeavoring to maintain and strengthen its own national power in order to fulfill its responsibilities and commitment as a leading nation in the free world under difficult international situation. At the same time, the United States expects its allies and friends to make more contributions to the protection and promotion of the interest of the free world. In particular, the United States expects Japan to do more. Basically, Japan and the United States are sharing the common view concerning the importance of Japan-U.S. relations.
(b) The purpose of Prime Minister Suzuki's visit to the United States in May 1981 was to confirm this importance of Japan-U.S. relations and to discuss matters related to the strengthening of their cooperative ties (see the Joint Communique).
Prime Minister Suzuki and President Reagan exchanged their views on a wide range of issues which are of mutual interest for both nations, including the international situation such as East-West relations and Asia, and bilateral relations such as the defense issues. Particularly, concerning the defense issues, the important roles of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty were reconfirmed. Prime Minister Suzuki expressed Japan's intention to continue to steadily improve its defense capabilities on its own initiative and in accordance with its Constitution and basic defense policy, while properly taking into account various factors including trends in Japanese public opinion, the fiscal situation, consistency with other policies, and effects on neighboring nations. In response to that, President Reagan expressed his understanding for Japan's efforts in improving its defense capabilities within certain limitations such as the Japanese Constitution, and stated that he expects Japan to continue its efforts. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Suzuki explained that Japan's role for peace and stability in the Far East would be focussed on the development of a broad and positive peace diplomacy which would encompass broad areas including the political, economic, social, and cultural fields.
Through such an exchange of views, Japan and the United States confirmed that, while the two countries are commonly supporting the basic values of freedom, democracy and the free market, they are close in their ties as allies which would result in the sharing of benefit sin broad areas such as security based on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and economic relations, and would continue to cooperate with each other. They also confirmed that stronger ties and cooperation between the two countries would be essential for the realization of world peace and the revitalization of international society.
(a) Japan and Canada not only share the similar political and economic ideologies as advanced democratic states but they are also important partners in the free world. There has been extensive progress in Japan-Canada relations in recent years mainly in the fields of trade and economy. An active exchange of the leading figures of both countries including the Prime Ministers of the two nations has been promoted in order to establish more mature Japan-Canada relations encompassing various fields such as politics, culture, and science. Furthermore, both countries are striving to expand their cooperative ties as important partners in the international arena, maintaining a common ideology.
(b) The year 1981 deserves special mention since a more active exchange between the Prime Ministers of Japan and Canada was observed. Prime Minister Suzuki visited Canada in May 1981 prior to the Ottawa Summit and established personal friendly relations based on trust with Prime Minister Trudeau. Both leaders frankly exchanged their opinions on bilateral and international issues so that the summit meeting would end in success. Close discussions and trust between the two leaders enabled Japan to reflect its diplomatic policies in the agreements reached at the summit meeting held in July.
In addition, various ministerial-level meetings were held in 1981, which included a visit to Canada by International Trade and Industry Minister Tanaka in January, Energy Minister Lalonde's visit to Japan in October, and Foreign Secretary MacGuigan's visit to Japan in November to attend the Second annual Japan-Canada Foreign Ministers' Consultation. As a result, Japan-Canada relations were further strengthened in numerous fields.
(c) Furthermore, the Canada-Japan Friendship Group was formally organized in Canada in March 1981 which corresponds to the Japan-Canada Parliamentarians' League. Thus, the framework for the full-scale exchange of Parliamentary members of Japan and Canada has been established.
4. Latin America (the term 'Latin America' used in this Blue Book includes the Caribbean area)
(1) Latin America comprises 32 independent countries with approximately 360 million people. Blessed with vast expanses of land and abundant natural resources, the area has a high degree of potential for future development. Possessing many newly developed countries, Latin America is considered to be an important area which has recently been remarkably increasing its position and influence on international politics and the economy. Meanwhile, international concern has been increasing on the unstable situations in some parts of Latin America, namely in Central America and the Caribbean area just adjacent to North America.
Latin America shares mutually complementary relations with Japan in the field of economy, including resource supplies, trade, and investments. Nearly one million Japanese immigrants and their descendants are playing an important role in promoting friendly relations between Japan and Latin America.
(2) Based on the mutually complementary economic relations, Japan has developed firm diplomatic efforts with the intention of promoting a wide range of cooperative ties with Latin America by engaging in efforts to enhance mutual understanding through active dialogues in the fields of politics as well as culture.
Foreign Minister Sonoda officially visited Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil in August 1981, which was the first visit by a foreign minister in two years, and had fruitful talks covering a wide range of issues related to the international situation in addition to bilateral issues. Meanwhile, Japan had received many leaders from Latin America, including Prime Minister Seaga of Jamaica and President Carazo of the Republic of Costa Rica. To sum up his visit, Foreign Minister Sonoda delivered a speech concerning the present and future relations between Japan and Latin America in Argentina, the last stop of his tour, and enjoyed public favor.
Corresponding to such an exchange of leading figures, 30 young people visited Japan under the Japan Study Program for Young People from Latin America which was carried out in 1981 as well as 1980 in order to promote the exchange of young people from long-term point of view.
In cultural field, special mention should be given to the "Ten Days of Mexico and Japan" which was held in Mexico City from the end of May to early June with the cooperation of the Japanese and Mexican governments as well as private organizations. During this ten day period, a variety of events such as the Mexican tour by Japanese sumo wrestlers, a fair featuring Japanese machinery, a Japanese film festival, a concert, and a woodblock print exhibition were held and the "Ten Days of Mexico and Japan" was concluded in a great success.
In Panama, the capitals 53-B street was named "Ohira Street" in July 1980 in honor of the late Prime Minister Ohira. Later, in 1981, a bust of Mr. Ohira was erected in the City of Panama, and a commemorative celebration was held in April. In July, Popular Park in Mexico City was renamed "Ohira Park."
(3) Japan has been endeavoring to develop closer ties and promote diversification in the field of economy and economic cooperation with Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the Andean nations, and the countries of Central America, and the Caribbean area, taking into consideration the intra-regional balance.
It should be specially noted that a number of agreements concerning economic cooperation with Brazil were concluded in 1981. In July, it was decided that necessary assistance would be extended from the governmental organizations concerned to meet the additional financial requirements resulting from the reviewing of the aluminum refinery plan in the Amazon. An official exchanged-note concerning the yen loan (\22 billion) allocated to the consolidation plan of ports and harbors was signed in November 1981. Regarding the development plan of the Carajas iron mine in Brazil, a general agreement was reached when Planning Minister Delfim Netto visited Japan in December to the effect that Japan would provide financial loans amounting to $500 million. It also deserves special mention that the contract worth $318 million was reached through the efforts of the mission which was dispatched to Mexico to enhance trade exchanges.
Meanwhile, aiming at the implementation of effective assistance to Latin America, a research group for the evaluation of economic and technical cooperation was dispatched to Peru as the first country to be taken up in the region. The group made evaluations on the current status of economic and technical cooperation extended by Japan to the country.
Japan also extended the yen loans or outright grants to Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, and Jamaica, providing various forms of cooperation to Latin America in such areas as the infrastructure, health and medicine, agriculture and fisheries.
Japan's trade with Latin America in 1981 totalled approximately $10.5 billion in exports, and $6.7 billion in imports, recording increases of 18% and 17% respectively over the previous year.
5. Western Europe
(1) Japan has been following a basic diplomatic policy to strengthen its ties with West European countries with which it shares the basic values of freedom, democracy and a market economy. In both Japan and Europe, however, the necessity of promoting dialogues and cooperation between them had not been fully recognized by many people. Thus, in the triangular relations of Japan, the North America, and Europe, Japan-Europe relations appeared to be the weakest. However, Japan-Europe cooperative ties have become stronger following the hostage incident at the American Embassy in Iran, the Afghanistan problem and the situation in Poland.
In June, Prime Minister Suzuki toured Europe for the first time in eight years since Prime Minister Tanaka's visit in 1973 and visited seven countries in Europe, namely, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the Vatican, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and France, as well as the EC Commission. He exchanged frank views with the leaders of each country on the issue of how Japan and Europe should cooperate and contribute to peace, stability, prosperity, and development in the world under the current international circumstances. The visit was a big step toward promoting cooperation between Japan and Europe.
On the other hand, Italian President Pertini's visit to Japan in March 1982 and the French President's first official visit by President Mitterand in April greatly contributed to enhancing mutual understanding between Japan and Europe. Furthermore, since Japan attaches importance to the strengthening of cooperative ties with the country holding presidency of the Council of Ministers of the EC, the visit by Belgium Foreign Minister Tindemans (President of the EC Foreign Ministers' Council) in February 1982 received high evaluation.
The future task remaining to be tackled in Japan-Europe relations is how such cooperative ties can be further tightened and strengthened so that Japan and Europe will be able to stand firmly in the fluctuating world environment. It is important to deepen mutual understanding through the broad exchange of people involving political leaders as well as the general public.
(2) In order to promote the exchange of people, especially of the younger generation who will shoulder the future relations between Japan and Europe, the 3rd Study Program in Japan for European Youth took place from mid-August to the end of September. The program was aimed at expanding the Japan-Europe relations to the grassroot level by providing an opportunity to observe Japanese politics, economy, and culture. Fifty young people from the EC nations and the EC organizations were invited for two weeks, after being chosen based on essays they had written.
(3) The Japan-EC economic relationship is facing a difficult situation, as tension increased against the background of the serious economic situation in the EC countries and the increase of the trade imbalance between Japan and the EC which exceeded $10 billion in 1981.
The total amount of trade by the EC accounts for approximately 40% of the world figure. Thus, should protectionist pressures in the EC intensify, great influence on world trade will inevitably occur. Revitalization of the European economy is also very important for the development of world trade.
Based on this understanding, Japan has exerted various efforts to achieve even more stable relations with the EC by establishing a broader foundation not only in the field of trade but also in the form of industrial cooperation, while explaining Japan's position through active dialogues with the EC. For example, mutual understanding with the EC has been deepened through the above-mentioned visit to Europe by Prime Minister Suzuki, the economic mission to Europe dispatched by the government in October (headed by Mr. Inayama, Chairman of the Federation of Economic Organizations), and the visit to Europe by the members of the Special Committee for International Economic Measures of Liberal Democratic Party, headed by Mr. Esaki.
6. The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
(1) The Soviet Union
(a) Japan has consistently pursued a policy of resolving the issue of Northern Territories and concluding a peace treaty with the Soviet Union, which is Japan's one of the most important neighbor, in order to develop stable relations based on true mutual understanding.
(b) The year 1981 was the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Soviet Union with the Japan-U.S.S.R. Joint Declaration. Regrettably, the relations between the two nations are still facing a difficult situation as a result of such Soviet actions as the military buildup in the Northern Territories, Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan and the Poland situation.
(c) In September 1981, Japanese and Soviet Foreign Ministers met in New York and agreed on the necessity of dialogues between the two countries. A basic agreement was reached at this time to hold meetings of the foreign ministers as well as working-level consultations between Japan and the Soviet Union. Based on the agreement, the Second Japan-U.S.S.R. Working-Level Consultations was held in January 1982. A candid exchange of views was made on various issues including the international situation in general and bilateral relations.
(d) Regarding the problem of the Northern Territories, which is the largest pending issue between Japan and the Soviet Union, the Japanese side expressed to the Soviet side its basic thoughts that the Soviet Union should go back to its policy line expressed in the Joint Statement in 1973, that it should immediately withdraw its military forces from the Northern Territories, and that it is necessary to hold negotiations for peace treaty as soon as possible. In response, the Soviet side simply expressed that there has been no problem related to the territories and it would remain firm in its position in the future. Furthermore, Japan pointed out that the next negotiation for peace treaty would take place upon Foreign Minister Gromyko's visit to Japan and requested his early visit. Foreign Minister Gromyko replied that he will study the matter.
(e) In Japan, there has been a substantial growth in nationwide public opinion concerning the issue as seen in the designation of "Northern Territories' Day" on February 7 and the observation trip of the territories by Prime Minister Suzuki in September. In view of the nation's public opinion, Foreign Minister Sonoda, in his general speech at the 36th UN General Assembly, appealed the basic stance of the Japanese on the Northern Territories to the international community in order to gain understanding. The speech was made following Foreign Minister Ito's speech in 1980. In addition, overseas publicity activities have been actively promoted through the compilation and distribution of various publicity materials on the Northern Territories.
(f) Japan believes that the proclamation of martial law in Poland in December 1981 and the following events in that country have resulted from pressure by the Soviet Union. The Japanese government pointed out the responsibilities of the Soviet Union and requested its self-restraint. However, since there was no indication of improvement in the following situations in Poland, the government further strongly requested self-restraint on the part of the Soviets and decided to implement certain measures against the Soviet Union in order to prevent any future intervention, recognizing the importance of maintaining unity and cooperation with Western nations. Details of these measures were publicized by Chief Cabinet Secretary Miyazawa on February 23, 1982.
(g) Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union are one of the most important aspects of Japan's external relations. The establishment of stable relations based on true mutual understanding is important also for peace and stability in Asia. In order to establish such relations, settlement of the Northern Territories issue cannot be by-passed. Therefore, Japan is determined to continue to appeal to the Soviet Union for its early conclusion of a peace treaty through resolution of the problem of the Northern Territories.
(2) Eastern Europe
(a) Japan has been promoting mutual understanding and friendly relations with East European nations, taking into consideration the varying conditions of each nation. Diplomatic efforts were continued in line with this policy in 1981. For example, Mr. Honecker, Chairman of the Council of State of the German Democratic Republic (Head of State) paid an official visit to Japan in May as a state guest. The visit greatly contributed to the promotion of Japan-G.D.R. relations through a deeper interest in Japan on the part of the East Germans, enhanced mutual understandings, and resulted in the signing of a commerce and navigation treaty.
(b) In Poland, the martial law were proclaimed throughout the nation on December 13, 1981. Consequently, many concerned persons including key figures of the "Solidarity" were detained, strikes and gatherings were banned, and other severe measures were implemented. Being concerned about such situations in Poland, Japan announced in a foreign minister's statement on December 25, 1981 that the Polish situation should be resolved by the Polish people themselves without outside interventions and expressed the hope that the Polish authorities would promptly initiate democratic dialogue among all domestic parties involved in the spirit of national reconciliation. Later, on January 14, 1982, in view of the fact that such a situation could threaten to endanger the relationship of East-West cooperation and exchanges which had been pursued to date, and seriously affect the international situation, Japan urged the Soviet Union for its self-restraint and urged Poland to put an early end to the extraordinary state of affairs in Poland in a foreign minister's statement. Furthermore, Japan directly expressed the afore-mentioned position of the country to the Polish authorities on January 7, 1982. However, since no improvements in the situation had been made, Japan announced its measures towards Poland and the Soviet Union on February 23, 1982, under the cooperation with Western nations. Meanwhile, Japan made it clear that the economic assistance already committed to Poland, would continue. The government also donated $500,000 as humanitarian assistance for Polish people.
(c) Yugoslavia has been pursuing an independent and non-aligned policy even after President Tito passed away (May 1980). Japan highly evaluated such a policy and attempted to promote relations through such efforts as signing the Scientific Technology Cooperation Agreement with Yugoslavia upon Foreign Minister Vrhovec's visit in May 1981. Meanwhile, regarding Albania, diplomatic relations were established in March 1981. All necessary arrangements for the establishment of the Japanese Embassy (concurrently under charge of Ambassador to Yugoslavia) were completed in March1982, and Japan further expnaded the basis of tis diplomacy.
7. The Middle East
(1) Japan has attached great importance to the Middle East as a vital strategic region and as a major supply source of energy. From such a point of view, Japan has been actively promoting economic and technological cooperation for the economic and social development of the region. In addition, Japan is striving to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations based on mutual understanding through the cultural exchange and mutual visit. Therefore, these Middle East countries have recently been placing greater expectations on Japan. As a result, Japan, whether it wished or not, began to attract attention from the Middle East countries not only in the field of economy but also in politics.
The Middle East region is faced with various internal political problems, and each problem has a great impact on the entire world. Japan has been exerting efforts in providing due contributions in order to achieve stability in the area while maintaining close contacts with nations concerned on these problems. It is necessary for Japan to continue its efforts in order to meet the expectations of the Middle East countries.
(2) The solution for the Middle East peace problem is an essential issue in achieving stability in the region. The negotiations between Israel and Egypt based on the Camp David Accords have been showing relatively favorable trends, so far as the bilateral relationship is concerned, despite the assassination of Egyptian President Sadat. Both countries continued the negotiations aiming at achieving the complete reversion of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in April 1982. On the other hand, concerning the Palestinian problem, although autonomy negotiations, resumed in September 1981, after the suspension since July1980, difficulties still exist and the situation is far from reassuring. These were the background of the presentation of the Saudi Arabia's eight-point proposal in August concerning peace in the Middle East.
From the viewpoint that comprehensive peace should be realized in the Middle East in a peaceful manner, Japan has exerted its efforts to bring about an atmosphere for peaceful solutions by making close contact with the parties concerned in the conflict. It was one of these efforts that Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Sonoda met Mr. Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization during the Chairman's visit to Japan in October 1981.
(3) The Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan which began in December 1979 resulted in great anger and uneasiness in the world since it violates international laws and justice.
Considering that the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan poses a grave threat to world peace and stability, Japan has continued to strongly urge the Soviet Union on all the occasions such as Foreign Ministers' talks at the United Nations and the Japan-U.S.S.R. Working-Level Consultations to immediately withdraw its troops from that country and continued to maintain a series of measures against the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Japan maintained its positive posture concerning aid to the refugees in Pakistan who have been facing great difficulties as a result of that incident.
The Iran-Iraq conflict, which developed into large-scale fighting in September 1980, has remained unsettled.
From the standpoint that an early and peaceful settlement of the conflict is strongly in need, Japan made appeals to both Iran and Iraq at every possible occasion to realize an early solution and supported the mediation efforts rendered by the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference.
(4) Japan has exerted its efforts to expand the exchange of people with the Middle East countries, with which it has enjoyed closer contact in recent years. Many oil-producing countries in the Middle East are organized under a monarchy system and feel a sense of intimacy with the Japanese Imperial Household. The official visit by the Crown Prince and Princess to Saudi Arabia in February and March was extremely fruitful in that respect. In addition, Japan is actively engaged in the exchange of people, although in an unofficial manner, through frequent visits by leading figures at the ministerial level.
Concerning the Middle East peace problem, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ali of the Arab Republic of Egypt (September) and PLO chairman Arafat (October, invited by the Parliamentarians' League for Japan-Palestine Friendship) visited Japan. These visits rendered substantial contributions to the mutual understanding between the Japanese leaders and the parties concerned to the Middle East peace problem.
(1) African countries south of the Sahara number 45 at present. All of them except South Africa are member nations of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). United under the organization, they have gradually been gaining a voice in the international community. Furthermore, blessed with rich natural resources, Africa has begun to play an important role in the world economy.
The most important task for the African nations is nation-building. With the rise of Japan's national power, African countries' interest in and expectation upon Japan for cooperation toward their nation-building efforts have been growing. As a result, visits to Japan by leading figures including heads of state from African countries have been observed in succession. Japan is making efforts to deepen mutual understanding with African countries through such activities as exchange of visits. At the same time, recognizing the increased responsibility of Japan in the international community, Japan has been providing as much economic and technological cooperation as possible in many fields for the nation-building of African countries.
(2) Regarding the exchange of visits, Japan received many important leaders from Africa including President Nyerere of the United Republic of Tanzania in March as a state guest and Prime Minister Mugabe of Zimbabwe in May on an unofficial visit. Through these visits, mutual understanding and friendly relations have been promoted. The number of visits to Japan by leading figures at ministerial level from African countries totalled 32 in 1981.
(3) African nations have been uniformly seeking a solution to the problems in Southern Africa (the attainment of independence by Namibia and termination of the South Africa's racial discrimination policy). Various efforts were made mainly by the United Nations and countries concerned in 1981 for the independence of Namibia, but a solution has not been attained.
As far as the South Africa's racial discrimination policy is concerned, Japan has strongly opposed to the policy and has placed certain limitations on its relations with South Africa. It also maintains the basic position of extending as much cooperation as possible for attaining a fair and peaceful solution to the vairous problems in Southern Africa. Japan has clearly expressed its intention to extend cooperation to the civilian component of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in case it is dispatched for the purpose of assisting the independence of Namibia.
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