39. Memorandum From the Senior Military Assistant (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Textiles

Attached at Tab A are several cables from Ambassador Meyer containing a pessimistic report on textile negotiations and seeking guidance from Alexis Johnson.2 Meyer reports, inter alia, that

—tension is building up.3

—in spite of strong Japanese governmental pressure Japanese textilists remain adamantly opposed to voluntary restraints and contend that Trezise data fails to prove injury.4

—non-textile industries in Japan are backing the textilists.

—there is a movement to link textiles with other categories, providing fewer voluntary restraints on textiles but offering accelerated liberalization of items under quota restraints.

—it is likely Japan will ask for more information (for example, proof of injury) or make inadequate counter proposals.

—the Embassy suggests the following possibilities:

Johnson seeing Shimoda.

—Low-key contacts.

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—third-party “honest broker.”

—tete-à-tete with Miyazawa.

In his reply (Tab B) Under Secretary Johnson advises the Ambassador to sit tight and wait for the Japanese response.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 399, Subject Files, Textiles, Vol. I. Secret; Nodis. Kissinger wrote in the upper right-hand corner of the first page: “Have talked to Johnson. HK
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab A are telegrams 728 and 731 from Tokyo, both February 7.
  3. During a January 27, 9:15 a.m., telephone conversation, Kissinger discussed with U. Alexis Johnson a conversation that he had just finished with Japanese emissary Kei Wakaizumi. Kissinger told Johnson that Sato “has the problem of managing a bureaucracy that is unaware of the situation,” to which Johnson replied, “He made a commitment without being able to carry it out.” At the end of the conversation, Kissinger said, “I can see what the President’s position would be though if he had promised something no one knew about and then had to pass it through the government without saying what is going on. And some of it must seem pretty ridiculous to them.” (Telephone conversation between Kissinger and Johnson; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1030, President/HAK Memcons, Textile Telcons, Sept. 1969–June 1970, 2 of 2)
  4. On January 21, Trezise delivered detailed statistical information on the U.S. textile industry and market to the Japanese Embassy. Telegram 10785 to Tokyo, January 23, describes the presentation of the Trezise data. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, INCO FIBERS 17 US–JAPAN)
  5. Not attached. Telegram 19282 to Tokyo, February 7. (Ibid.)