Canberra, 16 August 1954
I think you might read the attached.
Assuming that a Cabinet accepts the Cabinet memorandum1 on our attitude towards Japan for the future, I think that this subject of their joining the Colombo Plan (in some form) might be the first thing that we might do to implement this new attitude towards Japan.
It seems to me rather like taking two bites at a cherry for the Japanese to be allowed into the Colombo Plan technical assistance side—and not the economic aid side. They would of course come in (I presume) as a donor country. I have always assumed this and it is on the basis of this that I send you this note. It would be a wholly different proposition if they hoped to be a recipient country.
If we want to get any political capital out of our being willing to allow Japan into the Colombo Plan—then I think we should even consider whether we might not even go as far as making the proposal—or at least making a warm response to such a proposal made by someone else.
In other words, I suggest that Japan's wish to get into the Colombo Plan may be a rather heaven-sent opportunity on which we might base our 'new deal' towards Japan.
You might let me have your views.2
[NAA: A1838, 2080/13]