47. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State1

3893. Ref: Embtel 3856.2

I called on FonMin Shiina today at his request to discuss civil aviation. Shiina specifically asked that his remarks be brought to direct attention of Secretary Rusk. Following is text of a talking paper from which the FonMin read:

Begin verbatim text.

[Page 91]

Prime Minister Sato and President Johnson agreed at their meeting in last January that the two governments would make efforts so as to attain mutually acceptable and equitable solutions to issues pending between Japan and the United States, such as those concerning the air transport agreement and fisheries.

Pursuant to this agreement, the Japanese side has repeatedly requested the US side through Ambassador Takeuchi and other channels to resume the air agreement negotiations, but has not yet received any reply.

Due to such circumstances, public opinion in Japan has been hardened on this matter, and the Diet has recently adopted a firm resolution demanding a satisfactory revision of the present air routes between Japan and the United States.


Moreover, the Diet decided on its own judgment to send a group of its members headed by Mr. Takashi Hasegawa, Chairman of the Transportation Committee of the House of Representatives, to the United States. However, the US side requested the postponement of this visit.

The Japanese Government decided to comply with this request trusting that the US Government would make the utmost efforts so that a mutually satisfactory decision on the solution of this issue would be made by the President, and took it upon itself to persuade the Diet members concerned to postpone the visit for the time being. It should be noted that it is exceptional and difficult for the government to persuade the Diet in this manner.

In view of the above circumstances, public opinion in Japan, particularly in the Diet, would inevitably be stiffened if the decision of the President on this matter be further delayed or be unsatisfactory to the Japanese side.

Therefore, the Japanese side wishes to point out that an early and satisfactory solution of this issue has become a matter of great urgency, and to request the US Government to concentrate its utmost efforts for the solution of this longstanding issue. End verbatim text.

I told Shiina that we hope soon to be able to be in a position to negotiate on civil aviation. I pointed out that US policy makers have been much preoccupied with serious problems such as the Dominican Republic, but I hoped we would be able to start negotiations soon. I also said I hoped Hasegawa and his colleagues had not taken offense, but we for our part thought it would be in our common interest if Hasegawa’s visit were postponed.

Shiina said he understood this but pointed out that while Hasegawa himself is understanding of matter there is in the visiting Diet group a member of the political opposition and there are also some stubborn people in the LDP.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 7 JAPAN. Confidential.
  2. In telegram 3856 from Tokyo, May 23, the Embassy informed the Department of State that, after meeting with Sato, the Diet members referred to in paragraph 2 of this document postponed their meeting until mid-June. (Ibid.)