109. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of State Vance1

Attached is an article that appeared in The New York Times on June 8, 1977, concerning Vietnamese refugees.2 The article speaks for itself.

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I would like to suggest that State make a demarche to the Japanese in which we would seek the following two objectives:

(1) Encourage the Japanese to allow a greater number of Indochinese refugees to settle in Japan.

(2) Solicit a larger financial commitment to the International Refugee Program. I understand that the Thai Government will shortly unveil a new program for settling Vietnamese refugees in Thailand. This will be an expensive program and the Thai Government, quite understandably, hopes that other nations will share the financial burden. Japan is a logical candidate.

In addition to the above, we should also suggest to the Japanese that they permit refugees to reside temporarily in Japan longer than the current thirty-day period and to provide greater assistance to the refugees during their temporary stay there.3

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 85, Vietnam, 1/77–12/78. Confidential.
  2. Attached but not printed. See Document 108.
  3. In a June 14 memorandum to Vance, Brzezinski informed him that he had raised the Vietnamese refugee issue with Carter, who wanted pressure applied to Japan with regard to the refugees. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Agency File, Box 17, State Department (State), 6/77) Telegram 190642 to Tokyo, August 12, transmitted the démarche, which was not sent until after the August 11 Justice Department announcement (see foonote 2, Document 113). (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770290–0843)