126. Memorandum From Alfred Jenkins of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1


  • Japanese Contribution to Chinese Communist Weaponry

The attached document2 on exports of strategic electronic equipment from Japan to Communist China adds up to a shocking contribution on Japan’s part to Peking’s sophistication of weaponry and other production of military import. It could be misleading to some recipients, however, in that it does not overtly point out the fact that, according to all indications, the situation has markedly improved since the spring of 1967. At that time, you may recall, we sent a high-level briefing team to Tokyo on this subject and another briefing was given the Japanese here last November.

It would seem to be even more in Japan’s interest than in ours to curb this sort of traffic and we believe that our briefings have been effective. (The contribution through this type of export is in good measure to development of nuclear devices which could threaten Japan much more easily than the United States.) The list in the attached document shows that the peak period was 1964 through 1966. There may be some lag in our learning of more recent exports of this nature, if they have occurred, but with heightened concern on the part of Japanese leadership and in the absence of intelligence indicating recent exports of this nature, we have reason to hope that they are virtually nonexistent or at least very considerably reduced.

[3 lines of source text not declassified]

After a check which the Japan Desk is making with the East-West trade people, I plan to talk with Dick Sneider about the degree to which, if at all, we should express dissatisfaction under present circumstances with the Japanese “punching (or having punched) holes in the umbrella we hold over them.”

Alfred Jenkins
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File—Addendum, Japan. Secret.
  2. CIA Intelligence Memorandum, “Japanese Exports of Strategic Electronic Equipment to Communist China,” June 1968, attached but not printed.