150 Australia-Japan Trade Negotiations: Second Meeting

5th October, 1956


[matter omitted]

MR UYAMA mentioned that the paper [2] on the Japanese reactions to Australia's request may be somewhat vague but was the best they could do at this stage. The Japanese Government had many bilateral negotiations concerning the renewal of agreements with other countries. In these cases it covered all the negotiating on the spot and apparently regarded the Australia-Japan negotiations as being appropriately handled in this way. This could account for their unwillingness to be more definite before the negotiating team from Tokyo actually commenced talks here.

Any request by Australia for more specific reactions would only mean further delay and was unlikely to produce anything of value.

The Japanese team had been designated and expected to come in the third week in October.

It was hoped that the initial stage of exchanging reactions could be completed at this meeting.

MR PHILLIPS said it had not been intended that the initial reactions would be detailed. On our part our requests themselves did not go into detail.

In relation to the progress of the talks and the arrival of the Japanese delegation, our feeling was that until requests and initial reactions had been exchanged it was difficult to say when we could best go ahead.

While the Japanese procedure was undoubtedly suitable for reviewing agreements the initiation of an agreement perhaps called for different technique. We were anticipating obtaining a certain amount of clarification from the Japanese on the present basis and then another meeting at this level before full negotiations started. As the Japanese would see on examining our reactions [3] it would be difficult for us to go ahead without some further information.

The initial reactions were exchanged and examined.

MR PHILLIPS suggested that we would like some time to examine the Japanese reaction.

MR UYAMA Paragraph 13 of the Australian reaction requests further advice from Japan. However, Tokyo will undoubtedly take the view that they would like to hear more on other aspects of the requests before they make any statement on this. While appreciating the difficulties of the Australian position, the Japanese Government would prefer to have the full delegation thrash out these matters on the spot in actual negotiation. It may be difficult to get further reactions on present basis.

MR PHILLIPS suggested examination and further meeting for any necessary clarification before detailed negotiations commenced.

MR UYAMA suggested Monday morning to allow advice to reach Tokyo as soon as possible.

MR PHILLIPS felt that a meeting on Monday would not be possible but agreed to contact Mr Uyama on Monday and discuss the position.

MR UYAMA asked whether it would be possible for him to give Tokyo any indication of timing and whether once negotiations started meetings could be held in a more or less continuous series. He also asked whether clarification of para. 13 of Australian reaction is a prerequisite to formal negotiations.

MR PHILLIPS suggested that he discuss timing with Mr Uyama on Monday. We certainly hoped that the actual negotiations would be run as a continuous session and this was part of the reason for wishing to clear up as much as possible beforehand. As to the clarification of para. 13, we would certainly like this before commencing negotiations.

1 The meeting was held in the Department of Trade and chaired by Phillips. Present in addition were: Uyama, Takase and Nishimiya;

Robertson, Farrell and Lind.

2 Document 151.

3 Document 152.

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