21. Message From Japanese Finance Minister Aichi to President Nixon1

Message from President Nixon2 very much appreciated. Government of Japan is anxious to exchange views with USG on current currency crisis.

[Page 95]

GOJ wonders when and where it should send emissary for consultations with USG. Finance Ministry Advisor Hosomi originally planned leave Tokyo for Washington Thursday March 8, 1973, reported in Aichi message March 2 to Shultz,3 and Vice Minister Inamura expected to leave Tokyo Sunday, March 11, 1973 for New York City for overnight stop proceeding to Washington March 12 for Deputy Minister meeting of Group of 20, March 14–16. Hosomi could leave Monday, March 5, 1973 if GOJ could be informed where USG officials would like to meet with him, or could wait until March 8 and arrive as planned if there is no urgency.

Plan contact Tanaka tonight when Prime Minister returns to Tokyo. Inamura will call me [Aichi]4 by 2200 tonight Tokyo time if Prime Minister has any other thoughts. Please convey by 1000 Washington time, March 4 any message or send immediate telegram as to action USG would like to have GOJ take with respect to sending an emissary, probably Hosomi, if you want him to leave Tokyo March 5. I [Aichi] have promised to call Inamura by 2400 tonight Tokyo time.5

Inamura says GOJ has had no contact with European Governments during current currency crisis since they consider present flurry a strictly European problem, primarily a German problem. GOJ is keeping foreign exchange market in Tokyo closed March 5. No decision yet on market’s opening on March 6.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 53, Country Files, Europe, Monetary Crisis, March 1973. Secret. A type-written notation on the message indicates that it was sent “from Finance Minister Aichi in Absence of Prime Minister Tanaka.” Printed from an unsigned copy.
  2. Document 20.
  3. Not found.
  4. Brackets are in the original.
  5. In a March 5 memorandum to Shultz, Scowcroft reported that Aichi had decided to send Hosomi to Washington for consultations and that he would arrive on March 6. Scowcroft also noted that Tanaka and Aichi were “reluctant to make formal written reply to President Nixon’s message to Tanaka because of sensitive position of Tanaka Cabinet during current budget hearings in the Diet and necessity of spreading knowledge of the message through Japanese Foreign Ministry if formal reply required. They believe their action of dispatching Hosomi is adequate answer at this time. I agree with their conclusion. This reluctance on their part points up their own appraisal of delicate position of Tanaka Cabinet and emphasizes their desire to keep these exchanges of messages very secret.” (National Archives, RG 56, Records of Secretary of the Treasury George P. Shultz, 1971–1974, Entry 166, Box 6, GPS White House)