202. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, March 29, 1975, 11 a.m.1 2




  • The President
  • Ambassador James D. Hodgson, U.S. Ambassador to Japan
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National security Affairs

DATE AND TIME: Saturday, March 29, 1975
11:00 a.m. (5 minutes)
PLACE: The Oval Office

Ambassador Hodgson: I am coming from one area that is not giving you trouble.

The President: I am glad to see you, in the aftermath of my warm welcome there last fall.

Ambassador Hodgson: That is what I wanted to talk about. It is amazing what your trip did. They have come of age from your trip. The things which were edgy are now relaxed. It is really something.

The President: I get the impression that the political situation has calmed.

Ambassador Hodgson: Yes it has. Miki will want to come here in July, then the Emperor will come in October.

The President: I see he [the Emperor] is going to a lot of oceanographic places.

Ambassador Hodgson: Yes. He has to be strictly non-political. Even when he goes to the UN—probably there will be a picture of him when no one is there. He is very frail, and we have to consider that.

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The President: Who is coming with him?

Ambassador Hodgson: Just the two of them. None of the rest of the family. We will keep the visit non-political and low-key in activity. They watch for you to come to a return dinner.

The President: That’s no problem. Where will they stay?

Ambassador Hodgson: The Blair House. Then they will travel for two weeks. We have to stage it so TV will play the right aura back to Japan.

The President: He was very nice to me. He’s kind of hard to talk to!

Ambassador Hodgson: You did, though. That is what counted with the Japanese. There was no idle looking into the distance.

When Miki comes, it requires only a lunch or dinner. Protocol requires the head of government to precede the Emperor.

[Ambassador Hodgson told a story about a Japanese Stone Lantern that was given to the embassy. The conversation then ended].

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 10. Top Secret. The conversation took place in the Oval Office. The talking points that Ford received from Kissinger are ibid., Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 7, Country File, Japan [5].
  2. Ford and Hodgson discussed U.S.-Japanese relations.