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275 Note from Embassy in Rangoon to Department of External Affairs

Rangoon, 2 August 1954

Colombo Plan

It is reported that the Australian Government would view favourably a widening of the scope of the Colombo Plan to include Japan, in view of a suggestion by Tokyo English language newspaper 'Japan News'. I feel sure that this is a cunning ruse originating from some interested Japanese quarters. I would be surprised if Australia were to agree to Japan receiving benefits from the Colombo Plan. It would amount to sheer madness. A country need not for all time entertain ill feelings against her former ruthless enemy, but it would be sheer folly to go out of her way and give substantial help in rebuilding industries. This would amount to encouraging future aggression and more so when Japan aims to be the leader of all the regions of South-East-Asia. History will be meaningless if a country does not learn by the happenings in the past and model her actions by past events and experience.1

[NAA: A1838, 2080/13]

1 The DEA corrected the misunderstanding made apparent by this note by cabling posts that Japan was to be admitted as a donor, not as a recipient. See paragraph 2, Document 281.

Last Updated: 10 January 2017

Category: International relations

Topic: History