139 Record Of Conversation By Brennan

25th May, 1956


Japanese Trade Talks The Secretary handed to the Ambassador [1] the Note conveying the Government's decision to enter into negotiations with the Government of Japan looking towards a trade agreement between Japan and Australia. [2]

The Secretary drew attention to our desire to make a public announcement of the decision on Monday, 28th May. He explained that the Minister for Trade would be leaving Australia on that day. It was desirable that he should personally make the public announcement on a matter of such importance falling within his Ministerial responsibilities.

The Ambassador said that he thought that there would be no difficulties on that score on the Japanese side, particularly since the release was timed for 6 p.m. He would convey our wishes to the Japanese government and explain our reasons.

The Ambassador asked whether we would be prepared to commence discussions immediately.

Mr Tange said that, because of the absence of the Minister for Trade and the Secretary, Department of Trade, it would not be possible for delegations to commence formal discussions until late August. However, we would let the Japanese have our requests shortly and would be prepared to receive theirs at any time. Both sides could then begin preliminary work.

The Ambassador expressed gratification at the decision. He also took the opportunity to express his government's gratitude for Australia's co-operative attitude on a number of matters such as the release of War Criminals and Japan's candidature for membership of the United Nations. He expressed the hope that the Prime Minister's forthcoming visit to Japan would be successful.

Mr Tange thanked the Ambassador. He said that our co-operation with the Japanese was in pursuance of a deliberate policy. He referred to the connection between Japan's negotiations with the USSR for a peace treaty and Japan's admission to the United Nations. He suggested that the Embassy and the Department might exchange ideas on practical measures that might be taken to further Japan's admission. Mr Forsyth would be the appropriate person to approach.

1 Suzuki was accompanied by Uyama. Tange and Brennan were the only DEA officers present.

2 Document 138.

[AA : A1838/283, 759/1/7, iv]