Volume #25 - 474.|
VISIT OF FOREIGN MINISTER TO OTTAWA, SEPTEMBER 8, 1958
Ambassador in United States|
Memorandum by Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
September 9th, 1958|
DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF JAPAN, MR. FUJIYAMA, SEPTEMBER 8, 1958|
The Foreign Minister of Japan called on the Prime Minister at 9:30 a.m., accompanied by the Japanese Ambassador who acted as interpreter.
2. Mr. Fujiyama began by expressing his pleasure at being in Canada and said that there were no political problems between our two countries and he hoped that our happy collaboration would continue. Mr. Diefenbaker reciprocated these expressions and referred specifically to the Japanese and Canadian Resolution in the United Nations on disarmament.85 Mr. Fujiyama also spoke in general terms about the Japanese desire to increase trade between our two countries.
3. Reference to trade led the Prime Minister to ask Mr. Fujiyama about Japanese policy with regard to trade with Communist China. Mr. Fujiyama spoke cautiously about the possibilities of trade with Communist China. He referred to the long history of large Japanese trade in that area and the strong interest of the Japanese public in the subject. One aspect of Japanese economic concern over Communist China was that the Chinese were now competing very strongly with Japanese exports in South Asia. Mr. Diefenbaker asked if the Japanese had considered requesting the countries of South East Asia to enact dumping legislation to keep out this Chinese flood. Mr. Fujiyama said they had not done so. He also said, in answer to a question from Mr. Diefenbaker, that Japan was not aware of other countries practising dumping in Japan. In response to another question, he described the "flag incident" and the Chinese breaking off of trade relations with Japan when their full demands for a Chinese Communist trade mission were not met.
4. Mr. Fujiyama spoke of Japanese interest in technical and economic assistance programmes in South East Asia and said that he thought the best way to accomplish these was by expansion of the activities of the World Bank. Mr. Diefenbaker said that was his view and referred to his discussions on that subject with President Eisenhower.
5. On the subject of the situation in the Taiwan Straits, Mr. Fujiyama agreed with Mr. Diefenbaker's expressions of grave concern. He asked if Canada had a proposal for solving the problem of Formosa. Mr. Diefenbaker spoke of the great complexity of this issue and referred to his suggestion on Saturday that the United Nations might be used in some way to extract us from a dangerous situation.86 He speculated on the various ways in which the United Nations might be helpful and commented on the success which the Secretary-General had had over the question of American prisoners in China as an example of the kind of assistance which the United Nations might provide. He referred to Canadian newspaper opinion which was strongly critical of American policy towards China and the feeling that something must be done to stop a drift towards war. Mr. Fujiyama did not comment directly on the reference to the United Nations. He spoke cautiously of the difficulty of negotiations before we knew what the Americans would agree to. He did recognize, however, that in the long run it would be necessary for the Nationalists to evacuate the off-shore islands.
6. Mr. Fujiyama said that the Japanese Government had no immediate intention of recognizing the Peking régime, but he recognized that they could not go on forever refusing to accept the reality of 600 million Chinese on the mainland. The Japanese people, he said, were on the whole more favourably disposed towards the Communist Chinese Government than to the Soviet Union. The Prime Minister said he quite understood that the long ties of culture and close association would lead to this attitude. The Prime Minister said the question of recognition was a very difficult one. It was true that recognition was purely formal and was not intended to imply approval. For this reason, the British had recognized the Peking régime before the Korean war. He doubted if they would have done so afterwards. We were told, he said, that recognition would have a discouraging effect on our friends in Asia who had stood up against Communism and whatever we said it would be taken as meaning approval. Nevertheless, whatever he might have said in the past, he was inclined to doubt if we could go on forever ignoring the situation on the mainland. There was no doubt that the Communist Government was in control.
7. In conclusion, Mr. Diefenbaker expressed his happiness over the visit. He said that the Japanese Ambassador was always welcome to come and see him. He was a very good Ambassador and Mr. Diefenbaker hoped to keep in close touch with him.
85Ceci a trait à
une résolution sur le désarmement coparrainée par le Japon et le Canada et adoptée à la
Douzième session de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies qui élargissait le nombre de
membres de la Commission du désarmement. Voir volume 24, document 134.
86Voir/See Document 441, note 56.