351 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 253 CANBERRA, 29 April 1949, 12.20 p.m.


Your 363 and 368. [1]

Japanese participation in international relations.

We have now received a Note from the United States Embassy here communicating text of proposal put to F.E.C. and quoting the same arguments in its favour. Australian Government's support is requested.

2. In your 363 you indicated you were bringing proposal to the attention of the Minister. Has he expressed any views? It is desirable we should have his views before replying to United States Note.

3. Our own view is that United States proposal in its present form is undesirable and quite unnecessary, and that United States arguments in its favour are unconvincing. Proposal would in our view result either in Japanese Government exercising wide degree of responsibility in international affairs, which is undesirable so long as technical state of war obtains, or in Japanese Government becoming simply the mouthpiece of S.C.A.P. and United States Government at international conferences. Furthermore, to allow Japan to handle its own international affairs might furnish an embarrassing precedent as regards Germany. Admittedly the Japanese peace settlement has been delayed longer than was anticipated, and there may be some case for Governments represented on F.E.C. to consider carefully whether at this stage Japanese Government might be allowed to exercise limited responsibility as a member of such purely technical international bodies as I.T.U. and U.P.U. [2] But as regards international co- operation in broader political and economic fields we consider that participation where necessary by S.C.A.P. observers assisted by Japanese technical advisers, as already provided for under F.E.C. policy, should be quite adequate for present purposes.

1 For cablegram 363 see Document 350 Cablegram 368, dispatched 22 April 1949, conveyed the statement made by the United States in the Far Eastern Commission to argue the case for its proposal in Document 350.

2 International Telecommunications Union and Universal Postal Union.

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