179. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, July 31, 1973, 11 a.m..1 2



  • Kakuei Tanaka, Prime Minister of Japan
  • Takeshi Yasukawa, Japanese Ambassador to the United States
  • Hidetoshi Ukawa, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Interpreter)
  • The President
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • James J. Wickel, American Embassy, Tokyo (Interpreter)

DATE, TIME, AND PLACE: July 31, 1973, 11:00 a.m.
The White House

SUBJECTS: (1) Exchange of Visits; (2) U.S.-Japan Trade; (3) Nuclear Capabilities; (4) Educational Exchange; (5) USSR and PRC; (6) U.S.-USSR Summit; (7) USSR, PRC and U.S.-Japan Security Relations; (8) New Atlantic Charter; (9) Press Guidance

The President and the Prime Minister exchanged pleasantries while two shifts of press photographers took pictures, with the President recalling his recent high level foreign visitors. (Note: The conversation began while I was being identified to the satisfaction of the United States Secret Service. Only a portion was missed.)

Prime Minister Tanaka expressed deep appreciation for the warm welcome accorded him by the President on arrival at the White House. He commented on the healthy appearance of the President, adding that he seemed to have made a full recovery from his recent bout with pneumonia.

1. Exchange of Visits

Prime Minister Tanaka said that he had been asked by His Imperial Majesty The Emperor during his pre-departure audience to convey a personal message to the President, that is, that the Imperial Family wishes to do its [Page 02] best to strengthen the ties of friendship between Japan and the United States. Further, he said that Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress also asked him to convey their warmest personal regards to the President.

Recalling that it had not been possible because of their busy schedules to realize a visit to the United States this year by Their Majesties in response to the kind invitation extended last year, Prime Minister Tanaka stated with emphasis that the visit would take place sometime next year.

Prime Minister Tanaka officially extended an invitation to the President and Mrs. Nixon to visit Japan this year or next, at whatever time might be convenient for the President. He said that the people of Japan would welcome their visit.

The President expressed deep appreciation and his sense of honor in accepting the Prime Minister’s invitation to visit Japan at a mutually convenient time. He assured the Prime Minister that the people of the United States would welcome a visit by Their Majesties at a mutually convenient time. Noting that he recalls with pleasure their two previous meetings, in Tokyo in 1953 and Anchorage in 1971, he asked the Prime Minister to convey his own personal regards to HIM The Emperor.

However, in view of the problems which confront the leaders of governments such as ours and Japan’s, the President cautioned that it might be somewhat difficult to work out precise timing for these visits, but now that the visits have been agreed to in principle he believed that it would be possible to select a period of several months during which specific dates might be considered. Warning that any leaks about specific dates might require each of us to deny that plans have been made, the President suggested that he and the Prime Minister agree in principle at this time on the desirability of the visits, but leave to private (not diplomatic) channels the task of working out specific mutually convenient dates. (He indicated that this channel would be Ambassador Yasukawa and Dr. Kissinger.)

The President, recalling his own visits to the PRC and USSR and the Prime Minister’s visit to the PRC, said that he wished to make sure that when the arrangements have been made there would be no chance for criticism that these visits had not been given the same emphasis as the visits to the PRC and USSR. Therefore, he concluded, we should take adequate time to make thorough preparations.

2. U.S.-Japan Trade

[Page 03]

Prime Minister Tanaka recalled that the imbalance of trade between Japan and the United States was a matter of major concern when he met the President in Hawaii almost one year ago. Today, however, he was pleased to report on the favorable results of one year of effort by the GOJ in the interim to reduce this imbalance, success in which permitted him to meet the President in a more relaxed frame of mind. At Kuilima he had said that it might take three years to reduce Japan’s surplus in trade with the United States by half, but this goal has now been achieved in just one year. To illustrate the trend he explained that Japan’s trade with the United States during May was in deficit by some $11 million and in June even more so. In the first half of 1973, compared with 1972, Japan’s exports to the United States increased only 8%, but imports from the United States increased 49%; exports to the United States were valued at $4.3 billion, and imports at $3.2 billion, which indicated a considerable reduction in Japan’s surplus to about $1.2 billion over this period. Moreover, he said, the GOJ achieved this drastic reduction by stimulating Japan’s economy to increase domestic demand, even though this has exposed the GOJ to mounting public pressures generated by the severe rise in prices.

The President acknowledged that one severe problem that great industrial powers like the United States and Japan must deal with is these enormous trade balances. The only worse problem of which he could conceive would be to have a total GNP only as large as our trade volume, which is the situation of 90% of the countries in the world. He added that it is also worth noting that the United States and Japan, each with a highly developed industry, are destined to compete, but the leaders of our governments, himself and the Prime Minister, have a responsibility to future generations, and should see that this competition is never allowed to get bitter, or belligerent, or grow into political confrontation. He believed that both nations could compete, and could also work out the problems which arise without causing injury to each other. This would not be easy, because Japanese and American businessmen are hard, tough and competitive. Nevertheless, he felt that the leaders of both governments could leaven this competitive spirit so that it would not drive both countries apart. The Prime Minister is sometimes called the “computerized bulldozer,” he said, noting that he also has a brain. In other words, however difficult, he believed that leaders like the Prime Minister could help avoid a crisis.

Turning to the United States domestic economy, the President said that the immediate problem we face is feed-grains, including soybeans. The recent [Page 04] speech on the economy in which he announced the embargo on all exports of feed grains might have been good domestic politics, in relation to the poultry, pork and beef industries, but he acknowledged that it was disastrous in terms of our foreign policy, impairing our relations with Japan, particularly since we have been urging Japan to buy more of our agricultural products.

The President noted that Japan is an island. In a sense the United States is also an island, despite being a continent, but he did not believe that any major power could be an island in the world today. All are now similar to Great Britain in the 19th century, which while an island was global in terms of its interests. Therefore, he believed that today’s meeting with the Prime Minister is historic, because instead of discussing only Japan and its bilateral relations with the United States they would discuss the broadest range of common interests around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as how many more Toyota automobiles Japan wishes to sell in the United States.

[Prime Minister Tanaka asked whether he might smoke a cigarette, deferring to the condition of the President, who had just been released from the hospital. The President disclaimed any need to refrain from smoking on hits account.]

Prime Minister Tanaka agreed with the President’s observations. To illustrate the closeness of Japan’s economic relations with the United States he explained that Japan has a world-wide trade amounting to $80 billion, of which 30% is with the United States directly, and an additional 10% with American oil companies located abroad. Adding the two discloses that 40% of Japan’s trade is with the United States, directly or indirectly. He expressed the hope that this trade would continue to expand, without detrimental effect on the domestic economy of the United States, and to the extent that it is rational, acceptable, and would help improve communication between both nations. For this reason he supported continuing close consultations between both governments.

The President pointed out that the problem of deepest concern to businessmen who call on him, without exception, is not trade but the opening of the investment market in Japan to American companies. He understood that this is difficult, adding that he says “ask the Prime Minister” when asked this question.

[Page 05]

Prime Minister Tanaka interrupted to explain that the GOJ had already implemented a sweeping program of 100% liberalization of investment on May 1, 1973, with only a few exceptions. He assured the President that this was complete 100% foreign ownership, not just 49% in a joint venture.

The President suggested that further discussion of trade and economic affairs be left to his and the Prime Minister’s representatives, who would present any recommendations after full discussion.

3. Nuclear Capabilities

The President asked the Prime Minister for his evaluation of the international situation, which is more important. In past meetings he said that he has only discussed U.S.-Japan bilateral relations, and perhaps Korea, except for certain confidential matters. Today, he noted that Japan lacks a nuclear capability, as we know, which it could have except for reasons of which we are fully aware. He said that Japan is a major world power because of its enormous economic productivity, which would inevitably force on it certain choices. He confided that in the awareness of many other national leaders, Japan is in fact considered to be a nuclear power. In his talks with them, he said that leaders in the PRC, USSR and the European nations express great respect for Japan, not just because it is a great economic power, but because they all realize that Japan is destined to become the second most powerful nation in the world. Citing Herman Kahn’s thesis that Japan might emerge as the leading nation in the world by the end of the 20th century, he said that he believed that Japan would play a great role in the world. It was for this reason, he explained, that he spoke as he did above. He also inquired whether the Prime Minister wished to discuss, in confidence, the future of Southeast Asia, U.S.-Japan relations and our relations with Europe, Russia and China.

Prime Minister Tanaka said that he wished to do so.

The President cautioned that he would tread on sensitive political ground. He observed that a number of nations throughout the world are jealous of Japan, both for the past and the present role it plays in the world. In the United States there are a number of isolationists do not wish to see Japan play any role, but would rather see it live unto itself. However, he said that his own fundamental view is that an economic giant cannot remain a political pygmy, which is contrary to the laws of nature. An economic [Page 06] giant, he stressed, could never remain a political pygmy. The time for decision is now, but not in the form of a treaty or policy decisions about security forces. He said that we need to know, as a friend, what a forward-looking leader like the Prime Minister sees as the role Japan will play in the world.

Prime Minister Tanaka, by way of preface, said that the entire Japanese people appreciate the aid and assistance given by the United States over the past quarter-century, which has enabled Japan to make a rare achievement in recovering from total defeat. The basic wish of the Japanese people is to take their place forever alongside there nations, cooperating closely and in full consultation with the United States.

Prime Minister Tanaka stated that Japan would not possess nuclear weapons because of constitutional restrictions. However, as a member of the international community Japan would make whatever positive contribution it could to promote world peace in the technological, economic and other areas, Japan would also play a positive, constructive role in support of international agencies, to resolve such issues as the monetary problems, international liquidity, the new round of trade negotiations and economic assistance to the LDCs.

With respect to the newly emerging problem of energy, including petroleum, enrichment of uranium, and particularly the search for new energy resources, Prime Minister Tanaka said that Japan would positively support international cooperation, centered on the United States. However, he reiterated, Japan would not possess nuclear or military power because of its constitutional restrictions.

In pursuing its policies vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and China Prime Minister Tanaka said that Japan wished to maintain its close ties with the United States, and would not pursue for its own advantage any policy the least bit disadvantageous to the United States and the other nations of the Free World. In any case, he said, Japan wishes to develop its policy on the role it wishes to play in the world, its international actions, and its response to international situations on the basis of a full meeting of the minds with the United States.

4. Educational Exchange

Prime Minister Tanaka digressed from the subject to note that some Americans apparently misunderstand Japan’s purpose. He commented [Page 07] that the Japanese people understand the United States, with the exception of those few who distort American motives for political purposes. While the Japanese people understand and appreciate their relationship with the United States, the United States is so large that many people who may understand Europe do not understand Japan, which is not in Japan’s best interest. For that reason, he explained, the Japan Fund proposes to invite many Americans in an attempt to deepen their understanding of Japan; in fact, he added, the Japan Fund intends to devote half of its$10 million fund to invite Americans to Japan.

In addition, Prime Minister Tanaka said, he would announce at the Press Club that Japan proposes to grant $10 million to 10 leading American universities in the East, Midwest, South and West. He said that any assistance in selecting the universities to receive these grants would be appreciated.

5. USSR and PRC

Returning to the President’s question, Prime Minister Tanaka explained that the GOJ has and would continue to report immediately to the United States the progress of its entire foreign policy, not just with respect to the USSR and PRC. Before taking any decision the GOJ wished to consult the views of the United States to avoid impairing Japan-U.S. relations in any way. In that sense he said that the role of Ambassador Yasukawa might be described best as working for both the United States and Japan.

Referring to his planned visit to the UK, France and West Germany in September and October, to be followed by his visit to the USSR in October, Prime Minister Tanaka recalled the President’s own recent meeting with Secretary Brezhnev in Washington, and said that he would be pleased if the President could provide him any information about Secretary Brezhnev.

The President thanked the Prime Minister for giving him the benefit of his world view, and said that he wished to be more specific about some points. He asked what the Prime Minister believes is Secretary Brezhnev’s over-riding concern, and what is Chou En-lai’s over-riding concern. In responding he suggested that the Prime Minister might choose among such possible issues as trade, political, military or security matters. Or, he might draw on his own conversations, with Chou En-lai, or his intelligence briefs for the meeting with Secretary Brezhnev.

Prime Minister Tanaka, replying in a thoughtful manner, said that he believes that the only interest of the PRC is its common border with the USSR; the PRC seems to be devoting all its energies to the one question of how to deal with a border conflict there, should one arise. He revealed [Page 08] that Chou En-lai, in their conversations in Peking, had cited statistics in giving him an estimate that China would not be able to attain a standard of living comparable to Japan before the end of this century, and had assured him that China wished to move only in the direction of promoting domestic stability. He said that Chou En-lai assured him that China itself has neither the means nor the will to initiate a border conflict with the USSR, which assurance Prime Minister Tanaka said he takes at face value.

Prime Minister Tanaka believed that China has extended assistance to North Vietnam on the premise of its long friendship for Ho Chi-minh, but he does not believe that China would in the future extend positive assistance to North Vietnam for the purpose of causing a conflict.

Prime Minister Tanaka reiterated his belief that China has no aggressive intentions toward any of its neighbors, and that it is concerned only with its own domestic stability and national security. He stressed that China’s only concern is the border it shares with the USSR, and the increasing presence of the Soviet Fleet in the Indian Ocean. However, he did not believe that there is any danger that China would provide assistance to this area with a view to causing a conflict.

Prime Minister Tanaka further revealed that he explained to Chou En-lai that Japan would feel threatened by Chinese assistance to North Korea, and that he suggested to Chou En-lai that China keep this in mind, as well as not attempting to liberate Taiwan by force. Chou En-lai, he said, assured him that there is no need to fear the threat of an act of aggression by China. Therefore, Prime Minister Tanaka does not believe that the growing strength of China poses a threat to Japan for the coming generation.

Prime Minister Tanaka also revealed that he gave assurances to Chou En-lai during their talks that Japan does not, and would not possess nuclear weapons, and therefore does not pose a nuclear threat to China. He said that he told Chou En-lai that Japan, even though it has the technological capability to possess nuclear weapons, does not and would not possess them. Therefore, Prime Minister Tanaka said that he believes that as long as Japan does not possess nuclear weapons China would not entertain aggressive intentions against Japan, and since Japan has no aggressive intentions toward China he concluded that there is no danger of war.

Chou En-lai assured him, Prime Minister Tanaka said, that China is preparing to deal with aggression, but has no intention of committing [Page 09] aggression itself. If China has any strength to spare Chou told him that it would be devoted to raising the Chinese standard of living, and assured him that Japan need not feel that there is any threat of aggression by China.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Tanaka gave his estimate that in the absence of a positive detente between the PRC and USSR, in other words, as long as they continue their confrontation, there is no need for Japan to feel threatened by China.

The President began to speak about Soviet attitudes toward China in relation to the future of Japan...

Prime Minister Tanaka, continuing energetically, noted that Soviet agriculture has failed to increase its productivity, so much so that the USSR has been forced to import 20 million tons of grain from the United States to alleviate the shortage of food. The diligence of Soviet labor also seems to be declining, and the USSR faces a difficult domestic situation. Nevertheless, the Soviets possess great military power, which he said represents a great threat to Japan; in fact, almost every day Soviet aircraft fly so-called “Tokyo Express” missions. [Note: These flights sometimes circumnavigate Japan; sometimes they fly to the edge of Japanese air space and return to base via the same general routing.]

Soviet military power, Prime Minister Tanaka said, does constitute a threat to China, and at the same time to Japan as well. Moreover, he noted that Japan has not yet concluded a peace treaty with the USSR, which would not be easy in any case because the return of the four northern islands (Etoroffu, Kunashiri, the Habomais and Shikotan) is a prerequisite condition for Japan to sign a peace treaty with the USSR.

The President said that this should be a simple problem: the USSR, like the United States, is a great power, and he suggested that the Prime Minister need only suggest to Secretary Brezhnev when they meet that the USSR take the same position with respect to the four islands that the United States took with respect to the return of Okinawa, which should serve as a helpful precedent. Of course, he realized that this might pose difficulties for the USSR, because even though the four islands have no strategic value their return would serve as a precedent elsewhere, and would generate pressures for the return of other territories, such as the half of Poland which they occupy, as well as other territories.

6. U.S.-USSR Summit

[Page 10]

Turning to his conversations with Secretary Brezhnev at the recent summit meeting, the President said that they reviewed the whole range of bilateral issues between the United States and the USSR, including trade and wheat. He found that they both share the same concern about the Middle East, as perhaps do China and Japan. He also found that Secretary Brezhnev appears to believe what is stated in the Joint Communiqué, that is, that he sincerely wishes to follow a line of peaceful coexistence with the United States and other nations.

One important item to note, the President said, relates to the Agreement for the Prevention of Nuclear War. At United States insistence, a key provision was added, that is, that the use of force or the threat of the use of force by either, or (with emphasis) against third nations, which might threaten to lead to nuclear war would constitute a violation of the Agreement. He explained that the original Soviet position was to limit this provision to a pledge by the United States and the USSR not to use force only (with emphasis) against each other. Viewed in cold analytical terms, the Soviet proposal would render the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Security worthless, and would also make NATO worthless. Therefore, we insisted that the Agreement include the added explicit provision that the allies of either signatory, (with emphasis) meaning ours, would not be adversely affected by the Agreement.

In the broadest context the President said that he believes that Secretary Brezhnev is trying to lead the Political Bureau along the line of non-confrontation with the United States, which best serves Soviet interests at this time, by following a policy of less foreign adventurism than previously characterized Soviet policy. On the other hand, the Soviets are also aware that they have attained a nuclear capability nearly equal to the United States, although he pointed out that the United States retains a certain advantage in other fields. The Soviets also are not interested in trade for its own sake. Without questioning their motives, he noted his belief that Secretary Brezhnev and the Soviet Union appear to believe that a policy of peaceful coexistence serves their interests. However, he added the disclaimer that he would be the last one to make future projections about Soviet interests, or the use they might make of their immense power. He did not make this statement by way of criticism, but only in the same sense that the USSR also has no way of knowing what the United States might do in the future.

With respect to the PRC, the President said that he has the same clear impression as the Prime Minister, that foreign adventurism does not seem [Page 11] to be in the PRC interest in the foreseeable future in view of the number of domestic problems it faces. He conceded that the USSR also announces that to be its policy too, but cautioned that there is a difference between the Soviet and Chinese promises, that is, that the Soviet Union possesses great military and economic power. In terms of its leading position in the Communist world the USSR must look at the PRC and other Communist states which pose a threat to its central position. Of course, he added, this does not suggest that the Soviets would try to do something about it. Nevertheless, between the lines, the Soviets must consider what might happen in the distant future.

7. USSR, PRC and U.S.-Japan Security Relations

Finally, the President noted one point of great importance to Japan, that whereas the Chinese line over the past years has been to call for the immediate abrogation of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty and the withdrawal of the United States from all its alliances including Europe in accordance with the traditional pure communist line, the Chinese position today has changed; while they still publicly proclaim the above line, they take another position in private.

However, the President added (with emphasis) one fact stands out in looking at the PRC, USSR, Japan and the United States: Japan stands naked among its neighbors as an economic giant but a military and political pygmy in contrast to one of its neighbors, the USSR, as well as the others. Japan occupies a tempting position. For that reason the interests of Japan and the United States require the continuation of their (his and the Prime Minister’s) own personal friendship, and trade and other relations, including the present security arrangements which represent the best guarantee that the others when they see Japan hanging there like a ripe plum will not feel that it is theirs for aggressive forces to pluck.

Prime Minister Tanaka said that he shared the President’s views, adding that he considers Japan’s firm ties with the United States to be crucial to all its other relations, without which, he said, Japan could not have normalized relations with the PRC.

The President, making an additional point, said that Japan’s productive power makes it a major power in the Free World. Confiding in the Prime Minister, he said that even if the Soviets and the Chinese follow a line of peaceful coexistence — they may still remain our enemies, but we say they are following a line of peaceful coexistence — that does not mean that we cannot [Page 12] improve our relations with our friends without making an enemy of the other. Ultimately, he commented, Secretary Brezhnev is watching the United States carefully, just as we are watching him carefully. However, he concluded, he believes that Secretary Brezhnev wishes to be friends.

One further point for the Prime Minister’s information, he said, is that the European nations are rich and fat, and not interested in security matters. Excluding leaders like Heath and Pompidou, the other leaders, the intellectuals have little interest or appreciation of security matters. The trend in public opinion, he observed, is that the United States has entered a period of detente in its relations with the USSR and the PRC, and therefore the world is safe, peace is at hand, and NATO and all our other alliances should be dismantled. He also observed that this attitude is widespread in the United States, as in Japan. Here we have a “new isolationism” which believes that any peace is better than paying the price for defense. Should this attitude become prevalent in the United States, he cautioned, it would endanger our security relations with our friends in Japan, and with our friends in NATO, because people would no longer feel there is any need to maintain security forces there. Then there would be little we could do to persuade the Congress to maintain forces abroad. He said that he believes that, the Prime Minister, being a realist, knows what this means.

However, the President also said that he believes that Secretary Brezhnev believes in following g a policy of peaceful coexistence with the United States and other nations. Although there is little doubt that Secretary Brezhnev places the security of his country uppermost, nevertheless he reiterated his belief that Secretary Brezhnev would try to follow a peace line in a crisis. However, looking at the world, the Soviets are going forward with all their military programs — he said he does not object to this, it is their right to do so, because the only areas under treaty restriction are defensive nuclear weapons and certain offensive nuclear weapons.

The President said that he wished to look at the world as it might develop five years from now. He wondered what kind of a world we would see, with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty abrogated — and without support for it in Japan there would be many Americans delighted to get out — and with our troops withdrawn from Korea, and viewing Europe with the nations in disarray, refusing to join in a new reassertion of the principles which bind the free nations into unity, followed by a withdrawal of all our forces from Europe. What kind of a world would we have, he asked rhetorically, replying that the United States would be weaker the Soviet Union, that Europe [Page 13] while united economically, would be divided and quarreling in the political and security sense, and the Japan would be economically strong, but would have no capability on the military side. Representative of the prevailing views in academic circles he cited a poll taken at the distinguished institution in which Dr. Kissinger formerly taught, which disclosed that 90% of the faculty and 60% of the students favor that kind of a world. He stressed that it would not be a safe world.

Prime Minister Tanaka said that he understood the President’s views well. He too realized that pacifistic abstractions could not adequately guarantee life around the world. Therefore, he said that he believes that Japan-U.S. cooperation is indispensible in the maintenance of peace and security in Asia. In Europe, where France does not share a common border with the USSR he realized that the French might be free to speak as they will, but in divided Germany the West Germans hold the same views as the Japanese. Even though the USSR has made overtures to West Germany with a view to securing German help in the economic reconstruction of the USSR, for example, via the West German-Soviet Treaty, the Germans have not accommodated Soviet wishes.

Prime Minister Tanaka explained that some Japanese scholars advocate the strengthening of the functions of the UN, but he doubted this could be done since the USSR has come to dominate that organization. Without close cooperation, with the United States as the principle axis, the Free World could lose its balance and consequently make the maintenance of peace considerably more difficult.

8. New Atlantic Charter

In this sense, Prime Minister Tanaka said that intellectually he could understand Dr. Kissinger’s call for a New Atlantic Charter. Japan, he stated, wishes to cooperate in this undertaking, in those areas in which it can.

The President commented that there could be no Atlantic relations without Japan.

Prime Minister Tanaka stressed that Japan-U.S. cooperation and U.S.-NATO cooperation are essential to the Free World.

The President explained that the kind of world he painted above is not the [Page 14] kind he wants to see, he simply wished to indicate the kind of problems we face. He expressed a strong desire to stand for the right, regardless of what well-intentioned people with a narrow base call for, such as disarmament, dismantling of NATO, and the withdrawal of our forces because peace is at hand. He emphasized that we would advocate what is right, not because we are interested in fighting a war but because a policy of strength and unity is essential to the preservation of peace. To do otherwise would be to turn predatory forces loose in the world.

Prime Minister Tanaka said that he wished to discuss Dr. Kissinger’s thesis in detail, particularly how it relates to Japan, the United States and the NATO countries. He suggested that this grouping might be viewed as a second UN of the Free World, with the United States at the center. He reiterated his desire to consult closely on this matter, in strict confidence, and to hear the President’s views.

The President suggested that this topic might be reserved for discussion tomorrow. In the meantime Dr. Kissinger suggested that one idea, following up yesterday’s discussion, would be to continue to discuss with the Europeans their ideas, but it would also be helpful if at the same time we could have from Japan what the Japanese wish to have included in Declaration of Principles. It would be most helpful if we could develop our dialogue with Japan at the same time we are talking to the various Europeans.

The President endorsed this suggestion, because if our recalcitrant European friends ever decided to move forward [Note: At Dr. Kissinger’s suggestion the word “recalcitrant” was not interpreted.] we would not have a European-American framework, with Japan being added later. Instead, Japan would play a role from the beginning as a mutual partner.

Prime Minister Tanaka said that the United Nations is presently an unproductive organization, which has been rendered ineffective in defense of the Free World by pacifistic abstractions; therefore it is difficult to discuss the real issues of peace there.

Prime Minister Tanaka suggested that he and the President also have frank discussions tomorrow on energy, monetary issues and economic assistance to the LDCs. He reiterated his belief in the need for an organized forum, not necessarily formalized by Treaty, in which the advanced industrialized [Page 15] nations could meet to discuss these and similar matters.

9. Press Guidance

Ambassador Yasukawa asked for guidance to brief the Japanese press; he assumed that someone would do the same for the American press.

The President suggested that the press be informed that he and the Prime Minister had discussed the broad range of global problems, including the Pacific and Europe, and that both nations expressed similar views.

The President also said that the press could be informed of the agreement in principle to exchange visits, with Japan prepared to receive his visit any time between now and the end of 1974, and the Emperor to visit the United States next year. He cautioned that no specific dates be given.

There was general agreement on this press line as the meeting ended.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 927, VIP Visits, Japan PM Tanaka’s Visit, July 31, 1973 [1 of 3]. Secret; Sensitive. During dinner conversation on July 31, Nixon and Tanaka briefly discussed the likelihood of an Imperial visit to Washington, U.S.-Japanese joint development of Siberia, Tanaka’s planned visit to Western Europe and the Soviet Union, and the prospects for getting the Japanese government’s legislative program through the current session of the Diet. (Memorandum of Conversation, July 31, 1973, 8 p.m.; ibid.) Nixon’s talking points for his meetings with Tanaka are ibid., [2 of 3].
  2. Nixon and Tanaka talked about an exchange of state visits, U.S.-Japan trade, nuclear capabilities, educational exchanges, Sino-Soviet relations, the Soviet-American summit, superpower security relations, the New Atlantic Charter, and press guidance.