205. Memorandum From the Special Representative for Economic Summits (Owen) to President Carter1


  • Summit Preparatory Group Meeting in Tokyo2 (U)

There was a general consensus that the three main Summit topics should be energy, macro-economic policy, and North-South relations. Papers on these and other issues will now be prepared. Under each heading, we will be looking for concrete decisions that the heads of government could take in addressing both immediate and longer-term problems. (C)

1. Energy. An international working group under Japanese leadership will consider: measures to restrain consumption (the British and others said that under this heading they will want the US to report what it is doing to fulfill our Bonn commitment); a large-scale and coordinated increase in investment to produce alternative forms of energy, e.g., coal liquidation and gasification; a major international research and development effort concerning renewable energy sources; and a program of increased and more effective aid to help LDCs increase their energy output.3 (C)

2. Macro-Economic. An international working group under Charlie Schultze’s leadership will examine both short-term and medium economic prospects for the Summit countries. Discussions in Tokyo focused on:

—Asking Germany and Japan to maintain presently projected rates of growth (4% for Germany and 6% for Japan). The representatives of other European countries (particularly France) believe that their countries have benefited substantially from the 1% additional [Page 601] expansion of the German economy agreed at Bonn; they want that growth to continue.

—Asking the US and other countries with large external deficits to increase investment in order to improve productivity.

—Asking Japan, and to a lesser extent Germany, to undertake structural changes in their economies that would reduce their structural surpluses. (European representatives warned that if Japan has not made marked progress in improving its economic policies by Summit time, their heads of government will focus heavily on the need for such improvement.) (C)

3. North-South. The British will lead this working group, which will examine such questions as how to:

a. encourage greater capital transfers to developing countries—particularly by international institutions (World Bank and IMF) and private investors;

b. mount an expanded international effort, led by the World Bank, to help LDCs increase food output;

c. launch an international effort by our new Institute for Technological Cooperation and like institutions and programs in other Summit countries to carry out effective research and development on programs of particular concern to LDCs. (C)

Besides these three major issues, we talked about Summit consideration of international efforts to meet such threats to the quality of life as trade in toxic substances and the rapid depletion of natural resources (desertification, deforestation, etc.). The US will do papers on these issues. (C)

It was agreed the heads of government would probably want to discuss East-West economic issues and such problem countries as Turkey at their pre-Summit dinner. (C)

The group agreed to recommend to the heads of government that they issue on Thursday,4 6:00 p.m., Tokyo time (Thursday morning our time) the announcement (Tab A)5 that the Summit will be held June 28 and 29. You will recall that it was previously agreed to defer the decision on Summit timing until this first preparatory group meeting. (C)


That you approve our issuing the attached announcement (Tab A) through the White House Press Office.6 (U)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Special Projects File, Henry Owen, Box 30, Summit: Preparatory Group Meeting: 5/18–19/79 in Washington: 5/79 [I]. Confidential. Sent for action. Carter and Brzezinski both initialed at the top of the page.
  2. The G–7 Summit Preparatory Group met in Tokyo March 22–23. On March 28, Owen and Hormats provided a more detailed report on the meeting to Cooper, Solomon, Gramley, CEA senior staff economist Val Koromzay, and NSC Staff member James Cochrane. (Memorandum of conversation, March 28; ibid.) Owen, Schultze, Cooper, Solomon, Hormats, Koromzay, and Cochrane held a meeting on March 15 to discuss the U.S. approach to the Summit Preparatory Group meeting. (Memorandum for the record, March 15; ibid.)
  3. Carter wrote “& solar” at the end of this paragraph. He also wrote “good” in the margin adjacent to the paragraph.
  4. March 29.
  5. Attached but not printed.
  6. Carter indicated his approval of the recommendation. For the text of the announcement of the Tokyo G–7 Summit, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1979, Book I, p. 550.