"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Joint Statement of Japanese Prime Minister Sato and U.S. President Johnson

[Place] Washington
[Date] November 15, 1967
[Source] A Documentary History of U.S.-Japanese Relations, 1945-1997, pp.751-755. Public Papers of the President: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, pp.1033-1037.
[Full text]


President Johnson and Prime Minister Sato met in Washington on November 14 and 15, 1967, to exchange views on the present international situation and on other matters of mutual interest to the United States and Japan.


The President and the Prime Minister declared that the United States and Japan, guided by common democratic principles of individual dignity and personal freedom, will continue to cooperate closely with each other in efforts to bring about world peace and prosperity. They took note of the importance of reinforcing the authority and role of the United Nations as a peace keeping organization, of promoting arms control and a reduction of the arms race, including the early conclusion of a Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as of rendering effective assistance to the developing countries, particularly those in Southeast Asia.


The President and the Prime Minister exchanged frank views on the recent international situation, with particular emphasis on developments in the Far East. They noted the fact that Communist China is developing its nuclear arsenal and agreed on the importance of creating conditions wherein Asian nations would not be susceptible to threats from Communist China. The President and the Prime Minister also agreed that, while it is difficult to predict at present what external posture Communist China may eventually assume, it is essential for the free world countries to continue to cooperate among themselves to promote political stability and economic prosperity in the area. Looking toward an enduring peace in Asia, they further expressed the hope that Communist China would ultimately cast aside its present intransigent attitude and seek to live in peace and prosper alongside other nations in the international community.


The President reaffirmed the continuing United States determination to assist the South Vietnamese people in the defense of their freedom and independence. At the same time, he made it clear that he was prepared to enter into negotiations at any time to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict. The Prime Minister expressed support for the United States position of seeking a just and equitable settlement and reaffirmed Japan's determination to do all it can in the search for peace. He also expressed the view that reciprocal action should be expected of Hanoi for a cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam. The Prime Minister noted that he had found widespread support during his Southeast Asia trips for free world efforts to cope with communist intervention and infiltration. The President and the Prime Minister agreed that it is important that the new government in South Vietnam continue its progress toward stable democratic institutions and the social and economic betterment of its people.


The President and the Prime Minister exchanged views frankly on the matter of security in the Far East including Japan. They declared it to be the fundamental policy of both countries to maintain firmly the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan in order to ensure the security of Japan and the peace and security of the Far East. The President and the Prime Minister recognized that maintenance of peace and security rests not only upon military factors, but also upon political stability and economic development. The Prime Minister stated that Japan is prepared to make a positive contribution to the peace and stability of Asia in accordance with its capabilities. The President stated that such efforts on the part of Japan would be a highly valued contribution.


Referring to his recent visits to the Southeast Asian countries, the Prime Minister explained the efforts these nations are making in a spirit of self-help toward achievement of greater welfare and prosperity for their peoples, but noted their continued need for assistance in their efforts. The Prime Minister stated that it is the intention of the Government of Japan, in meeting this need, to continue its efforts to provide more effective bilateral and multilateral assistance to the Southeast Asian region particularly in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, transportation and communication, by increasing the amount of assistance and liberalizing its conditions. The Prime Minister described the encouraging trends which he had observed particularly in Southeast Asia toward greater regional cooperation and he cited the promising prospects for the Asian Development Bank and its special funds. He further stated that it is the intention of the Government of Japan to make greater use of these institutions by assisting in further expanding their operations. Recognizing the need to strengthen economic assistance to the developing areas, particularly to the Southeast Asian countries, the President and the Prime Minister agreed to maintain closer consultation with each other in this field.


The President and the Prime Minister frankly discussed the Ryukyu and the Bonin Islands. The Prime Minister emphasized the strong desire of the Government and people of Japan for the return of administrative rights over the Ryukyu Islands to Japan and expressed his belief that an adequate solution should promptly be sought on the basis of mutual understanding and trust between the governments and peoples of the two countries. He further emphasized that an agreement should be reached between the two governments within a few years on a date satisfactory to them for the reversion of these islands. The President stated that he fully understands the desire of the Japanese people for the reversion of these islands. At the same time, the President and the Prime Minister recognized that the United States military bases on these islands continue to play a vital role in assuring the security of Japan and other free nations in the Far East.

As a result of their discussion, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that the two governments should keep under joint and continuous review the status of the Ryukyu Islands, guided by the aim of returning administrative rights over these islands to Japan and in the light of these discussions.

The President and the Prime Minister further agreed that, with a view toward minimizing the stresses which will arise at such time as administrative rights are restored to Japan, measures should be taken to identify further the Ryukyuan people and their institutions with Japan proper and to promote the economic and social welfare of the Ryukyuan residents. To this end, they agreed to establish in Naha an advisory committee to the High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands. The Governments of Japan and the United States of America and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands will each provide a representative and appropriate staff to the committee. The committee will be expected to develop recommendations which should lead to substantial movement toward removing the remaining economic and social barriers between the Ryukyu Islands and Japan proper. The existing United States-Japan Consultative Committee in Tokyo will be kept informed by the High Commissioner of the progress of the work of the advisory committee. It was also agreed that the functions of the Japanese Government Liaison Office would be expanded as necessary to permit consultations with the High Commissioner and the United States Civil Administration on matters of mutual interest.

The President and the Prime Minister also reviewed the status of the Bonin Islands and agreed that the mutual security interests of Japan and the United States could be accommodated within arrangements for the return of administration of these islands to Japan. They therefore agreed that the two governments will enter immediately into consultations regarding the specific arrangements for accomplishing the early restoration of these islands to Japan without detriment to the security of the area. These consultations will take into account the intention of the Government of Japan, expressed by the Prime Minister, gradually to assume much of the responsibility for defense of the area. The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the United States would retain under the terms of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan such military facilities and areas in the Bonin Islands as required in the mutual security of both countries.

The Prime Minister stated that the return of the administrative rights over the Bonin Islands would not only contribute to solidifying the ties of friendship between the two countries but would also help to reinforce the conviction of the Japanese people that the return of the administrative rights over the Ryukyu Islands will also be solved within the framework of mutual trust between the two countries.


The President and the Prime Minister exchanged views on trade and economic policies following the successful conclusion of the Kennedy Round negotiations. They considered that a continued expansion of world trade would be in the best interests of both countries and pledged continued close cooperation in pursuit of this objective. They reaffirmed their support for policies which would lead to a freer flow of trade and further liberalization of other international transactions. They agreed that their two governments should continue to consult closely regarding trade and economic problems between the two countries with a view to finding mutually satisfactory solutions. They noted that early restoration of balance in each of the two countries worldwide international payments was of basic concern to both and agreed to assist each other toward this end. In this regard, and with a view to making possible the continuation and expansion of mutually beneficial trade and financial relationships between the two countries and promoting the development and stability of the Asia-Pacific area, they agreed to enhance the usefulness of the Joint United States-Japan Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs by establishing at an early date a subcommittee. This subcommittee will be a forum for consultation on economic and financial matters of importance to both countries, including the short and longer-range balance of payments problems of the two countries.


The President and the Prime Minister expressed their satisfaction with the active and expanding scientific cooperation between Japan and the United States. They especially recognized the contributions made by the United States-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program which was established as a result of their last meeting in January 1965, and the continuing achievements of the United States-Japan Committee on Scientific Cooperation.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, and noted with satisfaction the recent entry into force of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, a new milestone in mankind's progress towards peaceful uses of outer space. They reviewed space cooperation to date between the United States and Japan, and surveyed possibilities for future cooperation. They agreed that the two governments should look more closely into such possibilities, focusing on the development and launching of earth satellites for the scientific research and peaceful utilization of outer space.

The President and the Prime Minister, aware of the increasing importance of the oceans as a source of food for the world's growing population and as a source of minerals, have agreed to seek ways of greatly expanding United States-Japan cooperation in research and in development of technology for the utilization of marine resources through the United States-Japan Conference on Development and Utilization of Natural Resources. For this purpose they have agreed that as part of the United States-Japan Natural Resources Program, there should be prepared a report and recommendations to the two government looking to cooperation between the two countries in this field.

The President and the Prime Minister recognized that the promotion of peaceful uses of atomic energy has immense possibility of furthering the welfare of mankind and noted with satisfaction that there exists a close cooperative relationship between the two countries in this field. In this connection, the two leaders expressed satisfaction with the smooth progress of the current negotiations to conclude a new agreement for cooperation in this field. The Prime Minister welcomed in particular the intention of the United States Government to increase the supply of such nuclear fuel as U235 and plutonium to Japan.


The President and the Prime Minister were satisfied with their second meeting which was extremely useful and expressed their desire that close personal contact continue in the future.