Canberra, 28 August 1954
Your telegram 826.2
Japan's Association with the Colombo Plan.
1. We have considered this problem in relation to contributrion Japanese could make to area in technical knowledge and experience in training facilities and industrial capacity. We have also examined it from viewpoint of advantage of Japanese interests being directed towards South East Asia as an alternative in China and more generally of need to encourage Japanese orientation towards Western democracies.
2. It has been decided that Australia should support Japan's admission as member of Colombo Plan and we ourselves would consider sponsoring Japan.3 It must be clear that Japanese participation in Plan would be as a donor and not as a recipient country.4
3. Minister on 26th August spoke to Japanese Ambassador and asked whether his country wanted to join Colombo Plan on this basis in which case Australia would adopt helpful attitude.
4. With reference to State Department's suggestion that Afghanistan be invited to attend Ottawa Conference as an observer, we are not enthusiastic as Afghanistan can barely be said to fall within Colombo Plan area and we would be reluctant to divert part of our contribution to that area.5 Before expressing a view we would want to know attitude of Pakistan.6
[NAA: A8411, 112/2/1/2]