110. Editorial Note

During the first weeks of 1968, Japan and the United States implemented those portions of the JohnsonSato Communiqué aimed at advancing local autonomy and preparing for the eventual reversion of the Ryukyus. By an exchange of Notes the Japanese and the U.S. Governments established the Advisory Committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands effective January 19. The three-member committee, comprised of a representative from the United States, Japan, and the Ryukyus, was responsible for advising and making recommendations to the High Commissioner on social, economic, and other matters within his purview in preparation for reversion as well as to reduce and/or eliminate social and economic differences between the Islands and Japan proper. The committee met for the first time on March 1 in Naha. Copies of the Notes are in airgram A–939, January 22. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 RYU IS)

In addition, on January 31 President Johnson signed an amendment to Executive Order No. 10713 Providing for Administration of the Ryukyu Islands authorizing the popular election of the Chief Executive [Page 255]of the Ryukyu Islands. The amendment went into effect as of the next election, which was to be held on November 10, 1968. The President’s statement is printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968, page 123; the text of the Executive Order is in The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, page 117, the Federal Register (33 F.R. 2561), as well as the Code of Federal Regulations (3 CFR, 1968 Comp., page 99).

Implementation of Paragraph IX of the JohnsonSato Communiqué addressing cooperation in the peaceful exploration of outer space also began in 1968. In January Ambassador Johnson received authorization to open negotiations on a program enabling the United States to supply advanced equipment and technology to Japan in exchange for an agreement certifying their application would be for peaceful goals, in conformity with INTELSAT, and subject to third country oversight. The proposal was designed to benefit Japan, which wanted to develop a space program, as well as the United States, which stood to gain financially by the sale and licensing of technology. (Memorandum to Rostow, January 4; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Japan, Vol. VII) In late April 1968 the Japanese Diet passed legislation creating a Space Development Commission and set forth basic laws, which conformed to those proposed by the United States, covering the Japanese space efforts. (Telegram 7873 from Tokyo, April 30; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, SP 1–1 JAPAN–US) In mid-year the Chair of the Commission, Naotsugu Nabeshima, accepted the invitation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to visit Washington. Between July 13 and 17 Nabeshima met with Atomic Energy Commission members as well as officials at the National Air and Space Agency. The meetings allowed both sides to exchange information and prepare for further cooperation in the technological realm. Documents focusing on that visit and its results are ibid., POL 7 JAPAN.