5. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Trade Policy Discussions in Japan

I recommend that you approve the attached proposal of Secretary Stans2 that he visit Japan to talk about general trade matters and textiles soon after his European trip.3 It is important that we not appear to slight the Japanese in any way, particularly in an area so critical to our over-all relations with them.

The Secretary’s visit to Japan will attract a great deal of public attention there, both because it deals with sensitive trade issues and because it will be the first high-level contact between your Administration and the Japanese Government. Thus, it will be important for Secretary Stans to stress the positive gains of an expanding economic relationship between the U.S. and Japan and the desirability of solving [Page 25] trade and investment problems, including the textile issue, as major steps toward achieving this goal.

If he is to discuss textiles in any detail, the Secretary should definitely visit Korea and Taiwan as well.


That you approve Secretary Stans’ proposed trip to Japan.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 533, Country Files, Far East, Japan, Vol. I. No classification marking. Sent for action. In a February 5 memorandum to Kissinger, Assistants to the President Ellsworth and Dent provided information on Nixon’s 1968 campaign commitment to protect the U.S. textile industry. (Ibid., Box 399, Subject Files, Textiles, Vol. I)
  2. Stans’ proposal took the form of a March 20 memorandum to the President concerning “Trade Policy Discussions in Japan.” Stans discussed his interest in discussing Japanese import quotas, Japanese textile exports, and Japanese limitation on American private investment. He said that Rogers, Ellsworth, and representatives of the Labor Department, the Council of Economic Advisors, and the National Security Council concurred. Printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. IV, Foreign Assistance, International Development, Trade Policies, 1969–1972, Document 187.
  3. During the first half of 1969, Stans made two major foreign trips that were devoted in large part to international trade in textiles. He visited Europe April 11–26 and Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) May 10–18. A relevant chronology is printed in I.M. Destler, Haruhiro Fukui, and Hideo Sato The Textile Wrangle: Conflict in Japanese-American Relations, 1969–1971 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), pp. 15–18.
  4. The President initialed the approve option.