357. Memorandum From James C. Thomson, Jr., of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

SUBJECT

  • Japan-Korea Progress

I thought you and the President should know that the first returns from Japanese Foreign Minister Shiina's trip to Seoul are extremely encouraging.2

We have just had word that both sides have initialed a draft treaty that includes: (1) the establishment of embassies and an exchange of ambassadors at once; (2) Japanese recognition of Korea's status (the UN formula that fuzzes the question of the geographic extent of the ROK Government's sovereignty; and (3) agreement that all ancient treaties (i.e. 1905, etc.) between the two countries have already been abrogated.3

Shiina came as close as a Japanese can to apologizing for Japan's past sins, and everyone—including State—is thoroughly pleased. (This means that the specifics regarding fisheries, etc., remain to be talked out but will not obstruct the basic settlement.)

JCT
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Japan, Vol. III. No classification marking.
  2. Shiina visited Seoul February 17–20.
  3. Telegram 779 from Seoul, February 20, contained the text of the Treaty on Basic Arrangements. That document and others pertaining to the Shiina visit to Seoul are in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL JAPAN–KOR S.