Major Diplomatic Efforts
by Japan in 1985
Chapter III. Major Diplomatic Efforts by Japan in 1985
Section 1. Promoting Relations with Each Countries
(a) Peace and stability in Asia, a region with politically, economically and culturally diversified backgrounds, are indispensable to the peace and stability of not only Japan but also the world.
The situation in Asia remained strained in 1985 because of a major dry-season offensive by Vietnamese forces in Cambodia, continued inflow of Afghan refugees into Pakistan and other developments in which the Soviet Union was deeply involved, directly or indirectly.
However, there were also new developments toward the relaxation of tension in the region. In the Korean Peninsula, efforts continued to promote dialogue between North and South. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established as a framework to expand cooperation within the region.
In February 1986, a new administration was inaugurated in the Philippines with wide popular support and it is expected that this political change will lead to new developments in that country.
In the field of economy, the sluggish world economy and the decrease in prices of primary products caused a downward-trend in the economic growth rate of most Asian countries. Many Asian countries are seeking promotion of trade, investment and technological transfer and expansion of economic cooperation.
(b) Under these circumstances, Japan, continued to pursue positive diplomatic approaches toward countries in the region through promotion of friendly ties and cooperation for their development.
As for the Japan-China relations, efforts were made to further favorable and stable ties of friendship and cooperation as evidenced in the start of bilateral foreign ministerial consultations and active exchanges of political and business leaders.
1985 marked the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, and their bilateral relations matured further during the year.
Japan actively tackled problems concerning the ASEAN countries and continued to support their position on the Cambodian problem and made known its support for the new administration in the Philippines. Japan hosted the second Japan-ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (Tokyo) in which the participants exchanged candid opinions to achieve even closer economic exchanges for the future. Official visits by cabinet ministers to the Yasukuni Shrine on August 15, 1985 invited various reactions from Asian countries. The Japanese Government explained and is of the opinion that the official visits were to mourn for the war dead and renew the determination to work for the peace of the country and the world. Japan is acutely aware of the tremendous suffering and damage it inflicted on many people mainly in Asia in the past. It reflects on the past and is determind never to repeat it and based on this reflection and determination, it has been taking the path of a peaceful state. The cabinet ministers' official visits to the Yasukuni Shrine does not represent a change in that stance. The government has been striving to obtain understanding for this stance both at home and abroad.
(2) The Korean Peninsula
(a) Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula are important to Japan's security and the overall stability of East Asia. Japan strongly hopes that tensions will be relaxed and a lasting peace realized on the Peninsula. Japan has striven to step up the level of communication with China, the United States, the Soviet Union and other countries closely concerned in the Peninsula and is working to contribute to the creation of an international climate conducive to the promotion of dialogue between North and South Korea.
The Korean Peninsula problem was an important item of discussion in 1985 and early 1986 in Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's talks with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Republic of Korea Prime Minister Lho Shin-yong and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang, and also when Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe held talks with the Foreign Ministers of the United States, China, the Republic of Korea and the Soviet Union.
(b) On the dialogue between North and South Korea, progress was seen in the economic talks, Red Cross talks, preliminary talks for a conference of parliament members and sports talks. Japan's basic position is that the problem of the Korean Peninsula should be primarily resolved through direct dialogue between North and South Korea and Japan has supported the efforts of the Republic of Korea for such dialogue. Japan intends to cooperate closely with countries concerned and do all that it can to create a climate conducive to the promotion of dialogue.
(c) Japan continues to place high priority on its friendly and cooperative relations with the Republic of Korea.
The mutual visits by the heads of government of the two states marked a new chapter in the bilateral relationship. Following the visits, Japan has been making efforts to develop their achievements further by maintaining ongoing dialogue at all levels through a series of foreign ministers' conferences and the ministerial conference and various working-level consultations.
Japan intends to step up efforts for further exchanges between the two countries in a wide range of fields and at all levels to build a mature partnership so that the foundation of their friendly and cooperative relations will not be shaken by specific problems.
(d) There are no diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea, but Japan intends to maintain private-level contacts in the economic, cultural and other fields.
One of the main pillars in Japan's foreign policy has been to maintain and develop good and stable relations with China. The development of friendship and cooperation between the two countries is not only important to the two nations but also significant to the peace and stability of Asia and the world. Based on this, Japan continued active diplomatic approaches toward China in 1985.
Japan made efforts to expand and strengthen dialogue with China as seen in the successful 4th Japan-China ministerial meeting at the end of July and the bilateral foreign ministerial consultations held with Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe visiting China in October. The October foreign ministerial meeting was especially fruitful in that the two countries reconfirmed further development of their relations on the basis of the Japan-China Joint Communique, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China and the four principles on the bilateral relationship--peace and friendship, equality and mutual benefit, mutual trust and long-term stability.
In August, official visits by cabinet ministers to the Yasukuni Shrine caused a problem between the two countries. Japan explained the meaning and purpose of the visits through the foreign ministers' consultations and other occasions.
(4) ASEAN Countries and Burma
(a) The ASEAN countries have been strengthening cooperation and solidarity in pursuit of their common goals in the political, economic, cultural and other fields and they, as a stabilizing force in Southeast Asia, have significantly contributed to the peace and development of the region. The promotion of friendly and cooperative relations with the ASEAN countries with which Japan has close ties both historically and geographically has been one of the most important diplomatic tasks for Japan. Japan has been providing every possible support for their self-reliant efforts for economic and social development.
(b) The ASEAN countries, on the other hand, faced such problems as a slowdown in the economic growth and expansion of trade imbalance in 1985, reflecting the sluggish economy of the industrialized countries, a drop in export revenues (inactive primary product market, decrease in prices of primary products) and other unfavorable factors. Because of these problems coupled with a growing concern about protectionist moves as seen in the deliberations on textile-related bills in the U.S. Congress, the ASEAN countries pressed industrialized countries harder to open up their markets and step up overseas investment (in developing countries) and technology transfer.
Based on the fundamental position of maintaining and strengthening free trade, Japan, taking into consideration those situations, implemented the Action Program for Improved Market Access and other measures to make its market more accessible, in addition to the series of external economic measures announced in the past. In parallel with these measures, Japan sent to the ASEAN countries missions of the Federation of Economic Organizations (January 21 - 31, February 11 - 16) and missions headed by Masayuki Fujio (Chairman of the Policy Affairs 'Research Council of the Liberal-Democratic Party) (May 4 - 14, August 29 - September 4). The missions exchanged opinions with the leaders of ASEAN countries on a wide range of economic issues, promising whatever cooperation Japan can make, and explained that Japan would endeavor to make its market more accessible.
For the first time in six years, the Japan-ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting was held in Tokyo during June 27 - 28. The participants exchanged opinions on such issues as trade, investment and technology transfer. Japan explained in detail the Action Program on tariffs decided on June 25, stating that in working out the program, it had given utmost consideration to tariffs on items of their interest. In July, Foreign Minister Abe attended the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners (Kuala Lumpur, July 11 - 13). Discussion was centered on political issues. Japan proposed four pinciples on the Cambodian problem and also announced its participation in a project to cooperate in human resources development. Those positive attitude was taken based on the realization that the peace and prosperity of Asia, particularly ASEAN, are indispensable to the peace and prosperity of the world.
(c) The situation in the Philippines remained fluid in 1985. However, after the political confrontation between the government and the opposition following the presidential election in February 1986, a new administration led by Corazon Aquino was established. Japan has expressed its firm support for the Aquino Administration, in view of the fact that stability of the Philippines significantly contributes to the peace and prosperity of Southeast Asia and the entire Asian region.
(d) Japan also promoted friendly and cooperative relations with Burma, which is situated on the boundary of Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia and is following an independent course in its economic and foreign policies.
In Indochina, the Vietnamese military intervention in Cambodia continued and fighting persisted with the forces of the opposing Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK). Japan's basic position is that the Cambodian problem should be settled as early as possible and peaceful coexistence be established among the countries of ASEAN and Indochina in order to bring peace and stability to entire Southeast Asia. Accordingly, Japan firmly maintained its policy of seeking a comprehensive political settlement on the basis of the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cambodia and the realization of the Cambodian people's self-determination. Japan supported the diplomatic efforts of the ASEAN countries with which it shares a common position, and it also continued its dialogue with Vietnam. As part of these efforts, Foreign Minister Abe proposed four principles for the solution of the Cambodian problem (1.withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and the Cambodian people's self-determination, 2. promotion of dialogue, 3. support for CGDK, 4. development of human resources in Cambodia) at the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference in July, 1985. At the United Nations General Assembly in autumn, Japan co-sponsored with the ASEAN nations a draft resolution calling for a comprehensive political settlement to the Cambodian problem. This resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority surpassing that for a similar resolution in 1984.
Chart 1 The Cambodian Problem
(1) Relations among the Parties Concerned
(2) Major Points of Confrontation
(3) Military Situation in Cambodia
(4) Chronological Table of Major Developments
|Nov. 1953||Kingdom of Cambodia achieves complete independence from France.|
|Jun. 1960||Prince Sihanouk becomes head of state.|
|Mar. 1970||Coup d'etat (Lon Nol Administration formed.)|
|May||Prince Sihanouk establishes Government of Royal National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK) in Beijing.|
|Apr. 1975||Fall of Phnom Penh. GRUNK established in Phnom Penh.|
|Jan. 1976||Country renamed Democratic Kampuchea (DK).|
|Apr.||Prince Sihanouk resigns as head of state.|
|A new government led by the Khmer Rouge is inaugurated.|
|Jun. - Dec. 1977||Border dispute between Vietnam and Cambodia intensified. Democratic Kampuchea severes diplomatic relations with Vietnam.|
|Dec. 1978||The Kampuchean National United Front for National Salvation (later developed into "Heng Samrin Regime") organized. Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia.|
|Jan. 1979||Vietnamese forces occupy Phnom Penh ("Heng Samrin Regime" established).|
|Democratic Kampuchean (DK) government retreats to Thailand-Cambodia border area and launches guerrilla warfare against Vietnam.|
|Feb.||Fighting breaks out between China and Vietnam. (continued until March).|
|Oct.||Former Prime Minister Son Sann organized the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF) and wages guerrilla warfare against Vietnam.|
|Nov.||The 34th United Nations General Assembly adopts are solution on the Cambodian situation (demanding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Cambodia) (similar resolutions have been adopted every year since then) .|
|Mar. 1981||Prince Sihanouk organizes the National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) and wages guerrilla warfare against Vietnam.|
|Jul.||International Conference on Kampuchea (ICK) held under the auspices of the United Nations. The ICK Declaration (demanding a comprehensive political settlement to the conflict) is adopted.|
|Aug. 1982||Three resistance groups establish Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK).|
|Sep. 1983||ASEAN issues a joint appeal concerning the Cambodian problem (demanding partial withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia and establishment of safety zones in the areas of withdrawal).|
|Jul. 1984||Foreign Minister Abe announces "a three-point proposal" on the Cambodian problem (including financial cooperation in implementing the ASEAN joint appeal above) at the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference.|
|Nov. 1984 - Mar. 1985||Vietnamese forces launch a major offensive and bring major CGDK strongholds under their control.|
|Mar.||Democratic Kampuchean forces continue guerrilla warfare.|
|Jul.||ASEAN proposes "proximity talks" between CGDK and Vietnam.|
|"||Foreign Minister Abe announces "four principles" on the Cambodian problem at the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference.|
|Aug.||Vietnam announces complete withdrawal of its forces from Cambodia by 1990.|
|Mar. 1986||CGDK announces an "eight-point proposal" concerning the Cambodian problem.|
(6) Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia has a population of 900 million and is a crucial region linking the Middle East and East Asia and facing the Indian Ocean.
Based on the viewpoint that developments in this region are connected to the peace and stability of all of Asia and the world, Japan has contributed to the stabilization of the region, by actively extending economic and technical cooperation and striving to enhance friendly and cooperative relations with them. Especially, Japan stepped up efforts to activate political dialogue with Southwest Asian countries since the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.
In June 1985, President Hussain Mohammad Ershad of Bangladesh made an official visit to Japan as a state guest. From November to December 1985, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made an official visit to Japan as a government guest.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa (April) and Nepalese King Bikram Shah Dev Birendra (September) also visited Japan as official guests to the Tsukuba Exposition '85.
In March 1986, Bhutanese Foreign Minister Dawa Tsering made the first official visit to Japan as a Bhutanese foreign minister. Japan established diplomatic relation with Bhutan during his visit.
These summit-level dialogues have further strengthened Japan's friendly and cooperative relations with Southwest Asian countries and consolidated the basis on which Japan can contribute to the peace and stability of Asia
(1) In recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has drawn worldwide attention as one of the regions with the greatest potential toward the 21st century and there has been a growing interest in Oceania which is an important part of the region. Japan has made efforts to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations with Oceanian countries. In January 1985, Prime Minister Nakasone paid official visits to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand and contributed to enhancing Japan's relations with these countries.
(2) Among the Oceanian countries, Australia and New Zealand are industrialized democracies like Japan and have been long maintaining cordial ties with Japan centering on mutually complementary economic and trade relations. Recently, the relations between Japan and these countries have been strengthened not only in the areas of economy and trade but also in a wide range of fields including politics, culture and visits of various people. Dialogue was further deepened between Japan and Australia in 1985 through such developments as the 8th Japan-Australia ministerial committee meeting and the start of new consultations on energy and the South Pacific, in addition to the already-existing consultations in various other fields. Grass roots-level exchanges have also become more active. The number of Japanese visiting Australia topped 100-thousand and Australians visiting Japan topped 60-thousandin 1985.
Steps were also taken to strengthen relations between Japan and New Zealand as seen in the introduction of the working holiday system and the extension of the maximum period of stay without visa.
(3) The nine South Pacific island nations including Papua New Guinea and Fiji are working vigorously toward nation-building. These nations are recently placing strong hopes on solidifying relations with Japan, an industrialized country in the Asia-Pacific region, in an attempt to emerge from reliance on assistance from their former suzerain states, including Britain and Australia. Japan has been active in economic and technical cooperation with them to contribute to their economic developemnt.
1985 saw new developments in relations between Japan and the South Pacific island nations in such forms as the above-mentioned first official visit tot he region (Papua New Guinea and Fiji) by Prime Minister Nakasone and a seires of visits to Japan by VIPs from these nations. The South Pacific Forum, which is a regional organization mainly of these countries, adopted a resolution calling for closer relations with Japan at its 16th annual conference (in the Cook Islands, August 1985). It is regarded as important that Japan build more active and comprehensive cooperative relations with the South Pacific island nations in the future.
3. North America
(1) The United States
(a) Japan-U.S. relations, the main pillar of Japan's foreign policy, have now grown into a "global partnership." The two countries not only have exchanges and cooperation in all aspects of their bilateral relations including their security tie and economic, trade, scientific, technological, cultural fields, but also have come to maintain close cooperative relations including in broad areas as the maintenance of solidarity of the West in the context of East-West relations and the coordination in the area of economic assistance.
Together, Japan and the United States now account for more than 30 percent of the total GNP of the world and more than 20 percent of the world trade volume. In light of such significant positions and influence of the two countries in the international community, there is an increasing need for further strengthening and developing friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations.
(b) What symbolizes such close Japan-U.S. relations are the frequent high-level talks between the two countries. In the past three years from his first visit as Prime Minister to the U.S. in January 1983 until his April 1986 visit, Prime Minister Nakasone has met and closely exchanged his views with President Reagan eight times.
Foreign Minister Abe has held 22 rounds of talks so far with U.S. Secretary of State, George Shultz.
There were as many as four Japan-U.S. summit meetings in the period between January 1985 and April 1986: The summit meetings took place in Los Angeles in January 1985, during the Bonn Summit in May 1985, on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in October 1985, and at Camp David in April 1986.
(c) In the press remarks issued after the summit meeting in Los Angeles in January 1985, Prime Minister Nakasone confirmed that the two leaders had set a framework for the two countries to work together, based on the three elements of trust, responsibility, and friendship, to promote dynamic cooperation in quest of peace and prosperity of the world. The prime minister expressed that he would fully support President Reagan's endeavor in launching arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union. Also at the summit, Prime Minister Nakasone received President Reagan's explanation that the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDD is a non-nuclear defensive system and is ultimately aimed to help eliminate all nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Nakasone expressed his understanding of the SDI research by the U.S. At the Japan-U.S. talks held on the occasion of the Bonn Summit in May 1985, Prime Minister Nakasone reaffirmed Japan's basic position on SDI and also exchanged his views on economic and other bilateral issues with President Reagen.
(d) In the Japan-U.S. summit meeting held on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary Session of the United Nations General Assembly in October 1985,the two leaders exchanged their views primarily on economic issues and agreed that they would cooperate firmly in fighting protectionism.
(e) In April 1986, another Japan-U.S. summit meeting was held at Camp David, a presidential retreat in the suburbs of Washington D.C., symbolizing the unswerving friendship and deep mutual trust between the two leaders. In this meeting, the two leaders had extensive exchanges of views on overall Japan-U.S. bilateral relations, including trade and economic issues.
They also confirmed that Japan and the United States would cooperate toward the success of the Tokyo Summit in May and further discussed the global-scale cooperation between the two countries.
On economic issues in particular, President Reagan and other leaders of the U.S. Administration positively appreciated the achievements made till then concerning the MOSS (market-oriented sector selective) talks and the yen-dollar exchange rates. They also highly praised the report of "the Advisory Group on Economic Structural Adjustment for International Harmony" as a historic step toward harmonizing the Japanese economy with that of the world, and, expressed their strong expectations that Japan would implement the recommendations made in the report. President Reagan reiterated his strong determination to fight protectionism in Congress. In return, Prime Minister Nakasone expressed his utmost support toward the position of President Reagan. He also explained his intention to set up a promotions headquarters to study and promote adjustment of the Japanese economic structure, taking into consideration the above-mentioned report.
Concerning peace and disarmament, Prime Minister Nakasone paid respect to President Reagan for his strong determination to work toward more stable East-West relations and substantial reduction of nuclear weapons. He also expressed his strong hope that the momentum for U.S.-Soviet dialogue spurred by the summit meeting between the two leaders in November 1985 would move forward steadily.
In this connection, the two leaders reconfirmed the importance of maintaining close communication and coordination among the countries of the free world. Prime Minister Nakasone highly valued President Reagan's efforts toward the total elimination of INF on a global basis with adequate consideration to the Asian region.
The Prime Minister also said, concerning the SDI research issue, that he would carefully consider our country's response after thoroughly studying the report by joint study mission, consisting of officials from the ministries concerned and experts of the private sector, recently dispatched to the United States to research technological aspects of SDI.
(f) Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Abe, held talks with Secretary of State Shultz whenever possible to maintain close communication between them from the standpoint of the overseers of the management of the overall bilateral relations.
In April 1985, Foreign Minister Abe held a meeting with the Secretary of State in Washington D.C., on his way home from the OECD Ministerial Council meeting in Paris. They also held talks at the time of the dialogue with ASEAN foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur in July 1985, and at the time of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 1985. On these many occasions, they exchanged views on the whole scope of relations between the two countries. At their meeting in Washington D.C. in January1986, they concluded talks in the four area of MOSS consultations -telecommunications, electronics, forest products including the pending issue of the tariff on timber, and pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. As a result, they confirmed in the meeting that progress in the year-long MOSS talks was effective in fighting protectionism and adopted a joint report. At the Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial meeting held on the occasion of the Prime Minister's visit to the United States in April, they had fruitful exchanges of views on the bilateral relations centering on economic issues and on international situations.
(g) These meetings are now the central core in the management of Japan-U.S. relations. Personal relations of trust which have been fostered between the leaders and the foreign ministers of the two countries through these meetings have greatly contributed to speedy solutions of pending issues and the smooth management of Japan-U.S. relations.
(h) The close relations between Japan and the United States have been established anti maintained through the recognition that they share the common values of freedom and democracy and that the two countries share interests in political, economic and other extensive fields based on such values. On the other hand, because the two countries have different geographical, historical and cultural backgrounds while maintaining close relations, frictions arise from time to time. Maintenance and development of unswerving relations between the two countries are important not only to the security of Japan but also to the peace and stability of Asia and the world. Hence, Japan needs to continue to step up efforts to enhance mutual understanding and friendship with the United States.
(a) Relations between Japan and Canada have been developing steadily not only in the fields of trade and economic relations but also in those including political, cultural and in economic cooperation. The two countries have much in common in the international community. Both are industrialized democracies of the Western society and are Pacific nations, and both support the free trading system. The Mulroney Administration, which took office in September 1984, has attached great importance to the strengthening of relations with Japan, its second largest trading partner next to the United States.
(b) In light of the increasing importance Canada attaches to its relations with Japan, Prime Minister Nakasone visited the country in January 1986, and reconfirmed with Prime Minister Mulroney the common elements between the two countries in the international community. The two leaders also agreed to move forward toward establishing renewed cooperative relations between the sides. To this end, they set forth six basic themes; (1) pursuit of peace and disarmament, (2) fight against protectionism, (3) coping with the North-South problem, (4) promoting cooperation in the Pacific, (5) expansion of economic relations between Japan and Canada, and (6) promotion of understanding at the grass-roots level between the peoples of the two countries.
(c) Prime Minister Nakasone delivered a speech before the Canadian Parliament during his visit anti pointed out that Japan and Canada shared many things in the international community. He also called for bilateral cooperation in building a world of true interdependence.
(d) Prime Minister Mulroney is scheduled to make an official visit to Japan after the Tokyo Summit. It is hoped that his visit will further contribute to broadening and deepening the friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations.
4. Latin America
(1) Latin America has a population of about 375-million and consists of 33 independent countries, including "middle-income countries" which have relatively high income levels among the developing countries. It is a vast area, rich in natural and human resources, and has great potentiality for future development. Latin America's political and economic standing in the international community has increasingly risen in recent years.
(2) Latin American countries and Japan have been maintaining traditionally good political relations anti complementary economic relations, joining Latin America's wealth of natural resources with Japanese industrial and technological capacities. In recent years, the Latin American countries have come to hold increasingly strong expectations of cooperation with the powerful Japanese economy in promoting their economic and social development. The nearly one-million people of Japanese ancestry and nationality in Latin America play an important role in promoting friendly ties between Japan and the countries of that region.
(3) Economic relations between Japan and Latin America have grown steadily in the post-war period. Latin America is an important supplier of natural resources to Japan.
The two-way Japan-Latin America trade which stood at 600-million dollars in 1960 rose to a record 17.2-billion dollars in 1981. It has showed a slight decrease in the amount since then due to worldwide economic stagnation, a decrease in world trade and cumulative external debts and other economic problems Latin American countries have been facing. The total two-way trade stood at 14.7-billion dollars in 1985.
Japanese investment in Latin America has been increasing every year. The cumulative amount of investment (as of March 31, 1985, approval basis) is 13-billion and 20-million dollars, about 18.2 percent of Japan's total direct overseas investment, making Latin America the third-most important region after North America and Asia.
(4) Japanese economic and technical cooperation with Latin America has also expanded year after year. Its government-level cooperation is characterized by a strong tilt to technical cooperation in light of the fact that the Latin American region includes many middle-income countries. The bulk of the economic cooperation, however, is realized by non-governmental cooperation, making use of export credit and other measures.
(5) There have been an increase in personal contacts including mutual-visits by high government officials and more active exchanges in cultural, scientific and technological and other fields. It is important that continued efforts should be made to build a broad-based relationship.
Within this context, Foreign Minister Abe made an official visit to Brazil through September to October 1985. He also visited disaster-stricken areas in Mexico in October following the major earthquake. Japan welcomed the Foreign Minister of Colombia as a guest of the Foreign Ministry in June 1985 and the President of Costa Rica, the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the Foreign Minister of Uruguay as guests to the Tsukuba Science Exposition '85 between May and September.
(6) Concerning politically fluid Central America, relations between the United States and Nicaragua was further deteriorated in May 1985, when the United States announced economic sanctions against Nicaragua as a measure of promoting democratization in that country. However, the Contadora Group continued to make vigorous efforts for a peaceful solution, and talks continued among the countries concerned over the final draft of an agreement on peace and cooperation in Central America. Japan hopes to see an early peaceful settlement and maintains its strong support to the Contadora Group's efforts.
(7) Latin American countries continue to face serious economic difficulties. So far, they have been able to stave off an immediate crisis in the debt problem with the bootstrap efforts of the debtor countries, the support of the IMF and the governments of the creditor nations and the multi-year reschedulings by the private bank consortia. However, the debt problem began worsening again in 1985 because of the fall in the prices of oil and other primary products, the shrinking world trade and high interest rates.
Japan is extending every possible support in this problem, including participating in the Paris Club (a consultative group of creditor nations), going along with the reschedulings by the international private bank consortia and cooperating through the IMF and other international organizations.
(8) Latin America suffered extensive damage by two major natural disasters in 1985 -- the earthquake in Mexico in September and the volcanic eruption in Colombia in November. Japan extended large-scale assistance to these countries without delay on the basis of its own experiences as a country prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Japan extended record amounts of emergency disaster assistance in both cases, supplied pharmaceuticals and sent teams of medical staff and experts on earthquake and other fields to these countries. Foreign Minister Abe also visited Mexico and expressed his sympathy.
In December 1985, Japan formed a "Japan International Disaster Relief Team" on the basis of lessons learned from these incidents in order to improve the system of cooperation in the event of a major disaster in developing countries.
5. Western Europe
(1) Japan and the West European countries share the basic values and systems of freedom, democracy and free-market economy with the United States and the other industrialized democracies. They also share a great responsibility to maintain and promote world peace and prosperity in today's harsh international climate.
The European Communities (EC) increased its membership to 12 in January 1986 when Spain and Portugal joined the organization. EC also marked the first step toward the integration of Europe by implementing structural reforms including reinforcement of political cooperation in Europe. In line with the basic awareness that an integrated and strong Europe is important to the stability and development of Japan and the free world as a whole, Japan has made efforts to step up cooperative relations with Europe. On the part of Western Europe, interests in Japan and expectations of cooperation with Japan have grown rapidly in recent years as Japan's position has risen in the international economic and political arena.
Especially, there has been a growing tendency to reinforce political cooperation both in Japan and Europe, as, firstly, they share common interests concerning the East-West relations and security issues as seen in the problem of SS-20 missiles and therefore need for close consultations is increasing. Then, the 1983 Williamsburg Summit participants agreed that Western security is indivisible. And subsequently, political declarations at the London Summit in 1984 and the Bonn Summit in 1985 demonstrated a common stance toward solidarity among Japan, the United States and Europe in the shared commitment to the value of democracy.
(2) Due to a persistent massive trade imbalance between Japan and Western Europe and such problems as high unemployment rates and a delay in adjusting the economic structure on the part of Western Europe in spite of gradual economic recovery, tension continued in the Japan-Western Europe economic relations in 1985.
Especially, EC showed a harsh attitude toward Japan, saying Japan had not fulfilled its responsibility commensurate with its position in the world economy or Japan's huge amount of trade surpluses endangered the free trade system. Tension again emerged in economic relations between Japan and EC which had shown signs of improvement in 1984 with both sides confirming a policy of "dialogue and cooperation."
It was under these conditions that Prime Minister Nakasone made a round of visits to European countries in July, explaining Japan's efforts to open its market wider and made efforts to strengthen ties between Japan and Europe.
At the end of July, Japan announced a three-year action program to make its market more accessible. The demands of European countries were given full consideration in deciding the content of the program. However, the EC Commission issued a report on relations with Japan in October and criticized that the action program would not produce sufficient effect. It demanded that Japan set up a quantitative import target in an effort to increase imports of manufactured goods and processed farm products.
In October, the EC Foreign Ministerial Council supported the Commisson's position. The matter was the focal point presented by EC at the 2nd ministerial meeting of Japan and the EC Commission in Tokyo in November. Japan rejected the demand on the ground that such a measure would run counter to the free-market economy system. The two sides remained divided over the issue.
In January 1986, EC Commission Chairman Jacques Delors, visited Japan as an official guest. From a broad perspective that closer cooperation between Japan, Europe and the United States is important, Delors expressed the hope that Japan would make further progress in opening the domestic market wider. At the same time, he indicated that it was also important that the EC nations would make efforts to advance into the Japanese market.
Based on the result of Delors' visit to Japan, in March, the EC Foreign Ministerial Council adopted a conclusive written statement on relations with Japan which contained better balanced views than before. However the Council basically maintained its severe attitude toward Japan and future economic relations between Japan and EC do not allow optimistic prognosis.
6. The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
(1) The Soviet Union
Regarding relations with the Soviet Union, an important neighbor of Japan, the Japanese government has consistently taken a position that the Northern Territories problem shall be resolved and a peace treaty concluded in order to establish stable relations based upon true mutual understanding between the two countries.
It is regrettable, however, that relations between Japan and the Soviet Union have been strained in recent years, reflecting the harsh climate in East-West relations, by the following reasons; the Northern Territorial issue has not yet been solved, the Soviet Union has been building up its military forces in the Far Eastern region, including the Northern Territories, and in the international community there were such incidents as the Soviet Military invasion of Afghanistan anti the downing of a KAL jetliner.
Under such circumstances, it is important not only for averting unnecessary misunderstanding and confrontation but also for moving a step closer to the solution to the Northern Territorial issue and other basic problems facing Japan and the Soviet Union that Japan works to promote greater exchanges of views through dialogue, saying what must be said and standing firm on matters of principle. Based on this perspective, Japan has taken the initiative since 1984 in strengthening dialogue through various channels with the Soviet Union.
The Gorbachev Administration which was inaugurated in March 1985 showed a positive attitude toward promoting dialogue with foreign countries, including Japan, instead of refusing it. It decided on the foreign minister's visit to Japan, which has been a pending issue between the two countries.
In January 1986, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze made an official visit to Japan, being the first Soviet foreign minister to do so in ten years. The first regular bilateral foreign ministerial consultation in eight years was held between Shevardnadze and Foreign Minister Abe. Shevardnadze met Primer Minister Nakasone during his stay in Tokyo and handed him General Secretary Gorbachev's letter in which he invited the Japanese prime minister to make an official visit to the Soviet Union.
In the regular foreign ministerial meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral issues and international problems of mutual interest.
The result of Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's visit to Japan was stated in "the Japan-Soviet joint communique" issued January 19. It was significant in promoting Japan's diplomacy toward the Soviet Union from now on that the two countries agreed to step up political dialogue including summit-level talks and continue negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty with the issue of the Northern Territories included, which were resumed after a lapse of ten years.
Especially on the Northern Territorial issue, Abe held talks with Shevardnadze for about three hours. Regrettably, Shevardnadze made no substantial remark which went beyond the standing position of the Soviet Union. But making the resumption in January of negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty a fresh start, Japan is more keenly aware of the need to continue tenacious negotiations toward the reversion of the islands of the Habomai Group, Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu to Japan, on the basis of a national consensus.
It is hoped that concerned officials on both sides will continue steady efforts in line with the outcome of the meeting between Abe and Shevardnadze.
In the Japan-Soviet joint communique issued January 19, the two countries announced that Foreign Minister Abe would visit the Soviet Union in 1986 and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze would visit Japan in 1987. It is hoped that these visits will make the first Japan-Soviet regular foreign ministerial consultation in eight years literally the start of talks to be continued regularly in the future.
As for mutual visits by the top leaders of the two countries, the Japanese government hopes first to receive General Secretary Gorbachev in light of the past record of such visits.
The basic policy of the Japanese government in promoting relations with the Soviets is to resolve the Northern Territories problem, the fundamental issue between the two countries, and conclude a peace treaty, and hence to establish stable relations based upon true mutual understanding. Japan intends to promote Japanese-Soviet relations in such fields as economy and culture from the standpoint of reciprocity and equality, while observing the above-mentioned basic line as the pillar. During Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's visit to Japan, the two countries signed "an agreement on trade payment", "an official document on coasting trade" and "a taxation treaty." The two countries also agreed to continue negotiations on an early conclusion of a cultural agreement, which were resumed in May 1985.
1986 marks the 30th year since Japan and the Soviet Union signed the 1956 Joint Declaration and resumed diplomatic relations. During the period, bilateral relations have made progresses in a wide range of economic, trade, culture and other fields. In trade, for example, two-way trade, which started with above 40-million dollars after World War II, had increased to nearly 4.6-billion dollars in 1985. Japan continued to be an important trading partner among the Western countries for the Soviets.
Japan's Northern Territories
(2) Eastern Europe
1. Japan is working to promote friendly relations with the Warsaw Pact (WP) countries (note) through cross visits by dignitaries and economic and cultural exchanges, taking into consideration each country's circumstances and policies.
2. Fruitful dialogue, including summit-level talks, was held between Japan and a number of East European countries in 1985 through mutual visits by dignitaries as in previous years.
In June 1985, Foreign Minister Abe visited East Germany and Poland. Abe's visit was the first ever to East Germany and the first in 18 years to Poland by a Japanese foreign minister. Abe exchanged candid views with leaders of the two countries concerning international problems including disarmanent issue and the promotion of bilateral relations. The visits served to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the two countries, and at the same time significantly contributed to promote Japan's diplomacy toward Eastern Europe, as was the case with Abe's visits to Rumania and Bulgaria in August, 1983.
3. In the economic field, Japan held separate governmental-level economic committee meetings with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. In coordination with other Western countries, Japan rescheduled repayment of governmental debts for Poland which is beset with massive cumulative external debts.
(b) Japan has a high regard for Yugoslavia's foreign policy stance of adhering firmly to independence and non-alignment. From this perspective, Prime Minister Nakasone took the opportunity of attending the 40th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in October 1985 to hold talks with the Head of the State Presidency, Radovan Vlajkovic (head of state). In the economic field, Japan, like the other Western countries, rescheduled Yugoslavia's repayment of governmental debts.
7. Middle East
(1) The Middle East is strategically important as a primary source of the world's crude oil supplies. Japan has especially close relations with the Middle East, both as a source of approximately 70 percent of its crude oil imports and as an important trade and economic partner.
This region is however, beset with many problems, including the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Middle East peace issue, the worsening situation in Lebanon, terrorism among other political problems as well as economic and social problems generated by rapid economic growth, and a drop in governmental revenues caused by recent decreases in oil prices. Since these problems are destabilizing factors within the region and hence have the potential for a major impact upon the international community, they should be given close and constant attention.
Given this situation, Japan has contributed actively to these countries' nation-building and human resources development through providing economic and technical cooperation and has worked to promote mutual understanding through enhanced personal and cultural exchanges.
(2) As Japan's position has risen in the international community, countries in the region have been voicing increasing calls for Japan not to restrict itself to economic affairs but to play a more active political role as well. Japan has sought to respond to these expectations by taking every opportunity to consult with parties concerned in 1985 in an effort to create a climate conducive to an early peaceful settlement of the issue of Middle East peace and the Iran-Iraq conflict.
(3) There were active developments toward the Middle East peace in 1985 since the Hussein-Arafat agreement was reached in February. There was expectation that a Jordan-Palestinian joint delegation would hold talks with the United States. However, the parties concerned remained wide apart in their opinions and the talks were not realized. Furthermore, talks between the King of Jordan and the PLO Chairman came to a rupture. Moves toward Middle East peace have been driven to a standstill since February 1986.
In June 1985, Israel completed withdrawal of most of its troops from Lebanon. Since then, Syria and others have been working toward national reconciliation, but it has not yet been realized. Under these circumstances, Japan promoted political dialogue with parties concerned and appealed to them for flexible and realistic approaches through the foreign minister's visits to Middle East countries in July, United Nations meetings and other occasions.
(4) On the Iran-Iraq conflict, there was still no prospect of settlement and the situation remained tense. Mutual attacks on cities were fierce in March, May and June 1985. Iraq began attacking Kharg Island in the middle of August and Iranian forces took the offensive at the beginning of February 1986. Under these situations, Japan continued her efforts to seek a means to create a climate conducive to an early peaceful settlement of this conflict while continuing high-level dialogues with both countries.
From the end of March to the beginning of April 1985, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz visited Japan, and at the beginning of July, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assemby (Majlis), Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also visited Japan. Exchange of candid opinions took place on both occasions concerning bilateral relations, the Iran-Iraq conflict and other international developments. Foreign Minister Abe took the opportunity of attending the United Nations General Assembly and other occasions to hold talks with the foreign ministers of both Iran and Iraq.
At the United Nations General Assembly in September, Abe also delivered a speech anti expressed hope that the two sides would come before the United Nations Security Council or that some form of dialogue between the two parties would be realized through the good office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He also indicated that Japan would continue consulting closely with like-minded countries.
(5) There is no prospect of settlement of the situation in Afghanistan. Soviet troops of 110,000 to 120,000 men are still stationed in Afghanistan and battles continued across the country between the Soviet-backed Afghan regime and anti-government guerrillas.
Japan has taken every opportunity in the international arena to appeal for the need to settle the problem by fulfilling the four conditions including the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops called for by United Nations resolutions.
Middle East Peace Issue
Middle East Peace Issue
(1) The issue of Middle East peace means:
A conflict between Arab and Israel focused on the Palestinian problem which originates in the founding of Israe l in 1948.
(2) Arab and Israel had waged war four times between 1948 and 1973. However, the fundamental confrontation is not yet resolved among the parties involved.
(3) Attempts for peace:
Following Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's historic visit to Israel in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin concluded the Camp David Accord (CDA) in 1978, and relations between Egypt and Israel was normalized in 1979.
As for developments in recent years, efforts have been made since the Hussein-Arafat agreement in February 1985 to hold talks between the United States and Israel on one side and a Jordan-Palestinian joint delegation on the other, and also to hold an international conference on Middle East peace with the participation of all parties concerned. However, conflict among the parties involved has not yet been resolved and there is no prospect of peace in the region.
The Iran-Iraq Conflict
Differences in contention and position between Iran and Iraq
|Iran's contention concerning how the conflict began||Iraq's contention concerning how the conflict began|
Conditions of peace and cease-fire
The Situation in Afghanistan
(1) There are now 45 independent countries to the south of the Sahara (constituting approximately one-third of the total United Nations membership), and they represent an important force in international affairs. Africa also plays an important role in the world economy for its abundant natural resources, including rare metals.
The major task for most African countries which achieved independence over the last quarter-century is nation-building. However, African nations now face serious economic difficulties such as structural food shortages, low economic growth, cumulative external debts, etc.
In view of the importance of Africa and its increasing role in the international community as well as Japan's international responsibilities in today's increasingly interdependent world, Japan has promoted personal exchanges with African countries to enhance mutual understanding. Japan has also extended economic and technical cooperation to them in a wide range of fields to contribute to their economic and social development.
(2) In the field of personal exchanges, Japan welcomed the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from Mali, the Foreign Minister from Ethiopia and the Secretary General of the United National Independence Party from Zambia as guests of the Foreign Ministry, as well as 17 other Cabinet-level officials from African countries. From the Japanese side, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Moriyama, visited Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda in July.
(3) In the field of economic and technical cooperation, the 1984 bilateral ODA (disbursement basis) was 239.61-million dollars. Japan has made efforts to increase assistance to Africa especially since the latter half of 1970's. Africa's share of the total bilateral ODA by Japan had increased about 2.4 times from 4.1 percent in 1974 to 9.9 percent in 1984. In terms of absolute value on dollar basis, it had increased about 6.6 times as much.
In view of the plight of the African countries, Japan planned to increase the amount of bilateral grants (economic grants and technological cooperation) by about 8-billion yen over the previous year to about 60-billion yen in fiscal 1985. Japan also decided to take a flexible position on yen loans with an aim to allocate about 100-milion dollars while giving due consideration to cooperation with the World Bank and other international financial institutions as well as their relations with technological cooperation. It is almost certain that the government will accomplish these goals.
Especially on the problem of food shortage in African countries, Japan plans to continue assistance in supplying foodstuffs, improving transportation and storage systems and other forms of emergency assistance. Realizing that the fundamental solution requires the improvement of agricultural infrastructure from a medium to long-term perspective, Japan also plans to reinforce assistance to increase food production and other forms of assistance in fields related to food supply and agriculture. The issue of assistance to Africa was an important item on the agenda at the Bonn Summit in May 1985. In an attempt to follow up the result of the summit, Japan has been advocating and trying to realize the "Green Revolution for Africa" which is focused on promotion of agricultural research and a tree-planting campaign.
(4) On the problems of Southern Africa (early independence for Namibia and repeal of South Africa's policies of racial discrimination) where the African countries are unanimous in seeking a solution, there was no progress toward settlement in 1985 as in previous years. On the contrary, black riots intensified in South Africa and the situation worsened.
Japan has long strongly opposed South Africa's racial discriminatory policies and has limited its relations with that country. Japan's basic position is that of extending all possible cooperation for the just and peaceful settlement of the problems of Southern Africa. Japan has made it clear that it is prepared to cooperate in civil administration should a United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) be sent to facilitate Namibian independence.
In view of the recent rapid developments in South African situation, Japan announced in October, in the form of a statement by Foreign Minister Abe, the following further sanctions against South Africa in addition to those existing, as a concerted action with other foreign countries in an effort to urge the government to repeal apartheid. Additional sanctions against South Africa (October 9, 1985).
(a) the ban on export of computers to the military, police and all other institutions which execute apartheid
(b) call for self restraint on import of Krugerrand and other gold coins produced in South Africa
(c) enhanced cooperation for human resource development in Southern Africa to improve the status of blacks
(d) call on companies with offices in South Africa to observe equal and fair practices in employment
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Note: Besides the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact countries comprise six East European states; East Germany (German Democratic Republic), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.