103. Editorial Note

On January 6, 1972, President Nixon received Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and Ambassador Nobuhiko Ushiba in San Clemente, California. According to a memorandum of conversation prepared by John H. Holdridge, Nixon presented a multi-faceted analysis of the relationship among Japan, Europe, and the United States, and its global economic impact:

“The President noted that the United States relationship with Europe differed from its relationships in the Pacific. He said that he made the point with each of the leaders he met (Pompidou, Heath, and Brandt) that while we have a responsibility to maintain the closest consultations between the United States and the major European powers we must also work closely with Japan. The reason he believes this important is that in viewing the Free World, the great economic powers, the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, and possibly Canada must consult closely if we are to build a stable and productive Free World economy with trade and monetary stability. In a geopolitical sense also we cannot view it in global terms. England, France, and Germany no longer maintain a significant military presence in Asia, where Japan is the major Free World nation. Therefore, he believed that the development of a 5-power consultative process (adding Italy, perhaps, and Canada) would not only serve the economic needs of the entire Free World, but would also contribute to the development of cohesion in policy for handling all the difficult political and security problems that arise.”

Nixon then elaborated on the demands of global security:

“The United States, the President added, is in a unique position, having separate security treaties with Japan and the Western European nations, but since its policy must be global the United States cannot separate the two.”

Following a mention of European isolationism, Nixon concluded by speaking of his larger world view: [Page 355]

“The President stressed his belief that we all must inevitably compete, which is good, but we must do so on fair terms. Therefore, he believed it important to get the Europeans to think as we do in the United States, that is, view the world as a whole, and to recognize that Japan must be an important part of the Free World community.” (Memoranda from Holdridge of the NSC Staff to Kissinger, January 21, 1972; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 925, VIP Visits, Japan, January 1972, Sato (San Clemente))