197 Memorandum from Embassy in Tokyo to Renouf1

Tokyo, 28 June 1974

Restricted

Japan: Ratification of the NPT

Please refer to our cables O.TO18242 of 25 June and O.TO18523 of 27 June on the above subject.

2. Press reports on 25 June quoted a 'high official' of the Foreign Ministry (who we understand was Mr F. Togo, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs) as saying that the Ministry would review the position which it had taken in favour of early ratification of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). The official allegedly explained that recent developments, including the Indian nuclear explosion and the decision of the United States to make available nuclear technology to Egypt and Israel, had increased differences within the Japanese Government over the treaty and had made it more difficult for the Ministry to press for its prompt ratification. He was reported to have said that the Ministry's argument in favour of early ratification as a means of ensuring Japan's continued access to nuclear fuel and technology had lost some of its force since Egypt and Israel were now to be allowed access to nuclear fuel and technology even though neither country had signed the NPT.

[matter omitted]

Comment

7. While officials at lower levels in the Foreign Ministry continue to assert that the Ministry is still committed to early ratification of the NPT, the recent Indian, Chinese and French nuclear tests and the offer by the United States to provide Israel and Egypt with nuclear technology has served to undermine further the credibility of the Ministry's argument in the eyes of those opponents to ratification within the Liberal Democratic Party and other Government ministries. Should Cabinet changes, which are expected to follow the House of Councillors Election in July, result in greater representation within the Government, of those opposed to the NPT, the Ministry is likely to find itself in an increasingly isolated position in pressing for prompt ratification.

8. Copies of this memorandum have been sent to Washington, London, Geneva, Vienna and New York.

[NAA: A1838, 919/10/5 part 38]