345. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan1

130632. Subject: U.S.-Japan Nuclear Talks.

1. During series of talks just concluded major attention was devoted to drafting agreed principles in the context of which operation of [Page 888]the Tokai facility using U.S. origin fuel might be worked out. Full text follows Septel.2 Essence of these principles was:

A. U.S. recognized importance of nuclear energy development to Japan, supported continued development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and committed itself not to jeopardize Japan’s long-term energy strategy, including its breeder research and development program, promised to work with Japan and other countries to establish assured supplies of uranium ore and lightly enriched uranium, and reaffirmed that it had no intention of discriminating against Japan in area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

B. Japan stated its support and intention to cooperate in INFOP, and said it shared concern regarding proliferation dangers stemming from utilizing plutonium. It stated its view that plutonium recycling in LWR’s could be a useful technological option if it could be made sufficiently proliferation-resistant; however, it took due note of U.S. conclusion that such recycling is neither economically justified nor necessary. Japan also is of view that plutonium recycling in LWR’s is not yet ready for commercialization.

C. It was agreed that operation of Tokai facility would be worked out on basis of these principles. U.S. and Japanese experts agreed consult to develop solution whereby the Tokai facility is operated initially in a manner that would provide new information of significant non-proliferation value.

2. With respect to U.S. team of experts, GOJ negotiators stipulated that team should prepare joint report with Japanese colleagues, that report be submitted to both governments as quickly as possible, and that, if practicable, it be submitted while team was still in Japan.

3. At this stage, GOJ negotiators did not rpt not wish to allude to fact that principles had been agreed upon and wished avoid any reference to existence of document in discussing negotiations with press. U.S. side agreed. At same time, negotiators agreed ask their governments to consider making text of agreed principles public at later date.

4. Negotiators also agreed on terms of reference for joint technical team visit to Tokai-Mura. In brief, mandate of team is to:

A. Examine degree of proliferation resistance of various methods of operating facility, explore methods of reducing proliferation danger, including improving safeguards effectiveness.

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B. Explore alternative methods of operation (e.g., some sort of coprocessing) and assess the impact of such alternatives on cost, storage tank availability and lead time, schedule delays, etc.

C. Recommend preferred modes of operation, both interim and long term.

5. Dept believes this round of negotiations was successful in outlining a general framework for a mutually acceptable outcome and in providing a suitable basis for further discussion. We still do not, however, have resolution on a mode of operation of Tokai-Mura that would be acceptable to both sides and we would expect the U.S. team to probe with the Japanese the extent to which they are prepared to operate on a basis not involving production of weapons-usable material. While difficult negotiations still lie ahead, some genuine agreement has been achieved on general principles and the issue has been somewhat defused.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770202–0809. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by William Sherman (EA/J); cleared by Louis Scheinman (T), James Bonight (OES), Harold Benglesdorf (ERDA), Marvin Moss (ACDA), Michael Armacost (NSC), and Sydney Goldsmith (S/S); and approved by William Gleysteen (EA).
  2. The full text of the agreed principles is in telegram 132388 to Tokyo, June 8. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770204–1089)