493.949/4–154: Telegram

No. 751
The Ambassador in Japan (Allison) to the Department of State


2378. Reference Department telegram 2139 March 26.1 As indicated in despatch 1317 March 23,2 Embassy considers time has come for US to notify Japanese Government that we are willing to terminate bilateral understanding without reservations proposed reference telegram. Communist China would gain little or nothing if Japan revised controls down to China Committee level since items involved are already available to China from other China Committee countries.

Decision made August 1952 admit Japan to Paris group but US has continued to bind Japan through bilateral understanding to higher level of China controls than agreed by China Committee. When bilateral was concluded, Japan was promised multilateral treatment in due course and time has come to fulfill that promise. Japan has waited 20 months for Korean settlement and for China Committee to act. Believe we should now say to Japan that, as far as US is concerned, Japan’s international commitments re China trade are no greater than those of other members of Paris group. We should at same time make real effort secure Japan’s support US positions in forthcoming CG/COCOM/CHINCOM meetings but not make release from bilateral conditional on this.

In unwinding atmosphere initiated by UK position and Churchill statement, Embassy believes would be unwise to bargain with Japan re basis and timing for cancellation of bilateral understanding [Page 1628] Such an attitude by US at this time would not promote Japanese support for US positions in forthcoming meetings or thereafter. Embassy suggests only reservation to termination of bilateral should be request to Japan to wait on developments Geneva Conference.

Meanwhile, accelerated release from list of 400 and items deleted from US security lists should be permitted. If Washington continues to believe some 15 percent from “400” list should be held for possible proposal to China Committee. Embassy urges short-term deadline be specified for China Committee action. Further prolonged postponement of date when Japanese Government will be able to announce that China controls have been reduced to multilateral level is likely to generate unfortunate repercussions that would be much too high a price to pay for continued embargo by Japan of items which China is able to obtain from other China Committee members.

In event Far East situation threatens to deteriorate after Geneva Conference, Embassy would, of course, modify above recommendations.

  1. In this telegram, drafted in CA and NA and cleared in substance in FE, EDS, FOA, and the Departments of the Treasury, Defense, and Commerce, the Department informed the Embassy of NSC Action No. 1064 of Mar. 11. (See Document 743.) The telegram reads in part: “Expedited review of ‘400’ List will be completed next week and expected to result in decision to hold small proportion (perhaps 15 per cent) for possible proposal to CHINCOM. Balance (approximately 250 Schedule B numbers) could be available for release.” (493.949/3–2654)
  2. Not printed. (493.949/3–2354)