Special of the week; Issue 12-70 "Great Decisions"
NDE are the national educational radio network presents special of the week. This is program number five from the w d e t Wayne State University series called Great Decisions 1978 in the 1970s. Great Decisions must be made in foreign policy. We talked with the Honorable William P. Rogers secretary of state. But I think that in terms of our basic position in NATO's structure and SEATO and so forth we do have to make it clear that that the United States military power stands behind our treaties. That was the Honorable William P. Rogers secretary of state. We'll continue in a moment. Great Decisions 1970 today Japan the fifth in this eight week series focusing attention on the most critical issues of foreign policy facing the American government and people today. These programs produced by Wayne State
University in Detroit are designed to provide a deeper understanding of international problems. Now here is your moderator dean of administration at Wayne State University Dr. Harlan Hagman the Honorable you Alexis Johnson Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States Department of State and formerly ambassador to Japan. Mr. Ambassador they are not a state has agreed to withdraw gradually from Okinawa destroy its military presence. Do you look forward to a somewhat similar withdrawal from Japan. As we haven't Okinawan that that is not correct to such an assumption. We have not agreed to withdraw from Okinawa. All what we have agreed to do is to return the civilian administration of Okinawa to Japan so that Okinawa will again be a prefecture of Japan the same as any other Prefecture Japan. And our military bases there
will be upon the same bases as our bases elsewhere in Japan. In the communique that was issued at the time the prime minister stopped its visit here. The prime minister made it very clear in that communique as well as in a speech which he gave to the the Press Club here that Japan desired that the United States maintain a military presence in that part of the world including Okinawa and Japan itself. Now there will undoubtedly be shifts and changes in the details of our forces there there may be some reductions but we are not withdrawing our military establishment in Okinawa quite the contrary. Mr. Ambassador you have referred to some of the militant minority groups in Japan as demonstrating against the establishment against the government the Japanese government is thought to be stable but are not these repeated demonstrations by students and others say
perhaps a prelude to change maybe toward left wing political orientation. Well all I can do is go back to this last election just this last December in which the elements which are that in varying degrees supported these students the political elements of political parties that supported these two students. The last part the most part it lost out very very heavily and the government party the Liberal Democratic Party as it's called gamed very heavily as compared to the last election. So I don't I don't feel that there is a shall shall I say a leftward trend in Japanese politics. In general the Japanese people have shown themselves to be in favor of stability and order and maintenance of their present social and political system. There will of course be changes
within that system. Here's a likely Mr. Johnson that Japan will form an accord with mainland China first as the fostering of trade which is now going on perhaps fostering one according to. Does this represent as you see it a problem to us in a Japan Chinese accord in that part of the world. First as far as the economic side is concerned I don't feel that China offers any what we might call alternative to Japan as I previously mentioned. Japan's raw materials and Japan's markets are with the with the free world or the or the West. People of course often talk about this enormous Chinese market but of course the fact is the Chinese are not able to do much buying as you mention. Japanese have been trading with China for a number of years. There are no political
inhibitions on Japanese trade with China but in fact Japanese trade with China in the last few years has fallen off even from its previous very small level which Let's see out of a total Japanese trade of about 20 billion dollars both ways about 600 million at one time only 600 million to what's with China and it's gone down now to about 400 or five point hundred fifty or 500 million as I record the recall. You know it's interesting to note that the. That the hundred million people of Japan have a gross national product that's a buck approximately double that of the Eight hundred million people of China. Eight hundred million people of China have a gross national product of about 80 billion dollars or about a thousand. About $100 per capita while the hundred million people of Japan ever
gross national product of about one hundred sixty billion dollars or very close to sixteen hundred dollars per capita. It's not numbers of people who buy things. It's people who have money who buy things. Dr. James Martin a professor of government and Columbia University and a specialist in American Japanese relations. Well the small nations of Southeast Asia look to Japan as a natural leader in a post Vietnam situation. Oras hatred of the Japanese conquerors of World War 2 still a deterrent to accept us by Japan but as a friendly neighbor. Well in short while a real armed Japan be regarded with alarm by its neighbors. Well frankly I think if Japan really armed heavily they would be regarded by alarm by not only its neighbors in Asia but by everybody in the world including most Americans I think. Problem here for the Southeast Asian countries is not going to be so much
a resurgence of Japanese military power because I believe the Japanese are too too wise and sensible for that. But there is a concern which one can easily hear that Japanese economic power is going to be so overwhelming that they won't be able to cope with it. It's the same I think kind of a feeling one has heard in Europe for the last two decades. And when as Europe faces the United States feeling that American capital is going to take them over I think in Southeast Asia as well there is some of this feeling that Japanese capital combined with American capital would be simply overwhelming. On the other hand all of those states I believe without exception are exceedingly anxious to have Japanese capital to have Japanese technology. They want to have a closer relationship and I believe they are looking to Japan to supply it. So it's it's that same kind of ambiguity which almost no small people have said look at big ones. They want a good relationship they want
all the help and they don't want the pressure on the back. I think that's the way Southeast Asia is looking in Japan. If the United States withdraws itself from Vietnam or reduces its commitments of Southeast Asia will Japan provide the guarantees of stability in that part of the world. If stability means military power I would say not within the next five years. And I'm not sure within the next 10. I don't believe the Japanese people are at all interested in or prepared for any serious extension of military power overseas now. Second comment I'd make is that I seriously doubt that one ship can phrase the American stance in the future as withdraw. I do I don't see that we're going to be able or or want to simply disappear from that part of the world. Question is one of reduction of American
military influence a gradual phasing in probably of local military power from the small countries in the region and together with probably some kind of phasing in of Japanese interest. But I believe we're not we're not going to see a rapid American withdrawal number one and we're not going to see in any event a rapid movement of Japanese military power filling anybody's vacuum. I think they're more interested in being a good neighbor to both sides of all conflicts. At the present moment do you look for a greater accord perhaps a partnership between say a mainland China Red China and Japan. I can't see a partnership in the near future. I deeply convinced that most Japanese people government as well as opposition do want a better relationship with mainland China. And frankly
I think most Americans do as well. But the the problem of Japanese relations with China is exceedingly difficult. One must remember that they fought a very long and bitter war. There is no peace treaty. The deep questions of reparations are unsettled. The territorial question of Taiwan is really a serious problem for the Japanese as it is for Americans. There are in short very serious difficulties that Japan faces in dealing with China. And secondly even if these and when these political problems are overcome the question of integrating a Chinese economy under totalitarian controls and an underdeveloped economy where the Japanese economy under a capitalist system and highly advanced it is a problem which has not yet been resolved between any two countries. And I I find it difficult to suppose that it will be here easily. I think
one doesn't rightly look forward in the near future to a very close and intimate relationship between the Japanese and the Chinese. I believe they have never had that relationship. One should remember that the most intimate relationship was at a time of military conquest and therefore what can one look for. I think one can expect that the Japanese will try to improve their relations with mainland China and over time. Will succeed in ameliorating the present situation. But I am deeply convinced that the Japanese do know their own interests. It is a foolish conception held by a few overseas I think that somehow Japan is too weak and too ignorant of the affairs of the world to be dealing with a power like mainland China. My own feeling is the Japanese are highly sophisticated and highly capable. They will be trying to build a better
relationship with the Chinese but it will hardly be partnership. Mr Harry Ashmore vice president of the Center for the Study of democratic institutions starts worry if the United States should withdraw its visible presence in South Vietnam for example or in Southeast Asia its military presence. Is it likely that Japan would step forward and become the leader of that part of the world and if so would Japanese interest indicate that she would that Japan would maintain stability in that part of the world political stability economic stability. Well I think that would be a hope. I would preface that by saying I'm expressing my own view and I think the United States must remove its presence from Southeast Asia. My view it was a mistake to ever establish it there in the first place. I certainly think the there can be no effective resolution of our entire Asian policy until we have
we're out of there. We hope the mainland and we're not there as a military or even as a dominant influence of a political cutting that's not going to be easy to do. But assuming that it can be done I think the whole question of the future of that area then is open for speculation. The Japanese with their marvelously developed modern technological society and their productive capacity and they are really star plus of goods and of money. It could be said in one sense they need that area in order to make the kind of expansion at their internal pressures called for by how effectively they're going to be able to do it is another question. One of the things we have to take into account is that the Vietnamese are a very energetic people and they how long they have been terribly battered by this war. Now they have an enormous capacity for organizing productive facilities as they've demonstrated by holding out against the whole of the American
military thrust for all these years. I don't know that they're going to readily step aside and allow the Japanese to come in and take over the industrial and and commercial operations of some of those countries in a place like Cambodia which is really a backwater. The native Cambodians who are brown people with beards and all of their citizens that I've been quoting non-parent you find that the commerce the banking the manufacturing is actually run either but I expect we have Chinese are about to be at the meanies as has been traditional Miles. These are not people who came lately in many cases they've been there for two or three generations I understand this is largely true. Throughout Indonesia. So how the Japanese would operate whatever it means. Some kind of a question that they can provide industrial capacity and perhaps financial capacity I think there's no question that they have some ambition to do so. I
think it is true although it doesn't seem to be very marked. The Japanese are going to be a great Asian Power. Whether that influence will extend into Southeast Asia I really suppose determined will be determined by the future of China. We return to Dr. James Martin. Japan is benefited economically from the Korean War or Vietnam and the very number create bases I guess which demonstrations have been made. What would be the effect upon Japan's economy if American withdrawal of troops from Vietnam for example. Well there is certainly there would be some effect because they are getting extra trade out of the American procurements from the Vietnam War and all of the other expenditures of dollars in Japan which come in through American military men who are hospitalized there or are processed through Okinawa and so on.
So unquestionably there is a loss. But the loss I think is not to be put in the same equation with a sense of national independence or in the same equation with a fear of involvement in a war which they don't want to be involved in. So I think there are matters of different proportion and no one was willing to sell Okinawa for the economic return they had been getting for it. It's just you don't put your country's honor and territory and such matters prestige in that balance and I think that's the way it shaped up in Japan now. A recognition yes economically useful. There's a protest movement when an American base is closed and the labor unions whose representative party the Socialist Party wants those bases closed as soon as one is closed. The labor union will protest the laying off of its men. But these are perfectly understandable in human terms I think one is a man's job and the other is sense of his country's honor and there are
ambiguities in their lives as well as ours. The Japanese American mutual security pact will be 10 years old on June 23rd 1970 and at that time it is suggested that we might examine that attack to see whether it ought to be ended by action of one or the other parties or that it should be extended with perhaps some modifications. What course is best for the United States and with respect to mutual security pact. What course is probably desired by Japan. Well I'm convinced the best course for both of its most of us is to leave it alone to have it automatically extended. And I'm believe that for several reasons a sudden change in our relationship such as a ending of the pact which would lead presumably to an abrupt withdrawal of all American military forces in the region and an
ending of our commitment to defend Japan would suddenly shock the Japanese public and government into some very serious decisions. And I I can imagine that the only decision that a rational man would then take would be immediate rearmament on a much larger scale. And I would suppose that for most of the Japanese public that is undesired for most of the Asian countries that's an undesirable thing and I think from an American point of view it's undesirable. So it does seem to me that from the Japanese point of you allowing it to go on as it is is probably preferable for the time being and from our standpoint these are a limited number of those bases. Does continue to perform a very useful function for us. It does allow us to maintain a seventh fleet through the Pacific waters which I believe is vital. It has allowed us to stage troops it's allowed us to maintain surveillance and
intelligence sense so that we can respond to what we have been defined nationally as a security interest in South Korea or the waters of the Western Pacific and Taiwan and so on. The bases have been valuable and they have been useful to Japan. On the other hand whatever the decision on this question I would say there is only one basic determinant of all the relationship and that is we must do what will preserve good relations should it happen that the Japanese public and government do want that treaty terminated which I believe they don't at the moment. Then I would say we must respond in Japan in the deepest sense. I think it is a conservative society. It has never had a revolution. It does not move rapidly in that sense. It is controlled by elements extremely stable elements who have. Long term interest in the country.
To my my own feeling is that the violence we've seen is significant. There is a malaise in Japanese life is there is an American life. But one should not move quickly from that to suppose that the post-war institutions democratic government the business structure the labor union structure these large popular institutions to suppose that that they have not made their place in Japan they are now deeply embedded there. And I think we we can look look forward as most Japanese do to a ferment because this is an open society now it has the ferment that we have. But I think one does not expect from that revolutionary instability. Once again the Honorable you Alexis Johnson given the present state of the world on Mr. Johnson our mutual security pacts such as we have with Japan do they represent possible hazards to us.
Do they represent drains upon us a possible source of overcommitment and extension beyond our ability. Should we have watched these mutual security packs and what car shit would you suggest we ought to follow it with respect to Japan in particular. Well you're entering into a question that has philosophical implications around the world of course. It's not only our pact with Japan but our pacts with other countries and as well as NATO. I myself feel that our In general our mutual security pacts have served a constructive purpose in the world. I think that they have done more to maintain peace than than otherwise. One of the important aspects of mutual security pacts is to make it clear to a possible enemy what you would do under certain circumstances.
And where is more often a rise for misunderstanding than anything else and a mutual security pacts are one way of trying to prevent wars from arising from mutual misunderstandings. They've done so in in Europe. I need to I think it's been very successful in this regard. It's done so as far as Japan is concerned as it's done so as far as Korea is concerned. After the pact after the Korean War we entered into the pact with Korea making it clear that we would not stand for a renewal of the aggression there you know there was some feeling that the Korean war arose from a misunderstanding by the other side of what what we would do under the circumstances that arose in Korea. And one of the reasons for entering into Pax is to avoid that misunderstanding. Now as far as our commitments are concerned. We're not starting from scratch of course. You have to ask
yourself what the effect would be of in effect saying to a possible enemy that you're no longer going to support or assist a certain area. Would this be more likely to encourage aggression or would it or what would the effect be. Personally I feel that it would be likely to encourage impression and that's Bring on the very situation that we're seeking to avoid. At the same time I retire early agree that we should not enter into commitments which we're not prepared to honor. I think that we are prepared to honor the commitments to which we've entered and I hope that we will continue to be entering into new commitments as a you know is another type of problem. But I don't know of any proposal that we enter into new commitments at this time. I gather it's a secretary from your experience as ambassador to Japan and from your other white experience are part of the world that you do not now fear a strong Japan Japan which might become military minded but
Japan has a nuclear potential but has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would you assume from that. I have every expectation that they will shortly be signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a. As And Japanese I think it made it very clear that they do not have any intent of developing nuclear weapons. I certainly cannot conceive of a Japan developing nuclear capability that could be of any threat to the United States. I feel that a healthy economically vigorous Japan has been a great asset to the United States. We have more trade with Japan than we have with any overseas country I use the term overseas to exclude Canada. We have more trade economic and financial relations with Japan than any other country in the world any more than with any country in Europe. I think there's been a been a benefit to
us and I think the important thing is that we so conduct ourselves and Japan so conduct ourselves itself that we maintain this neutrality of relationship. The recovery of Japan since the end of World War 2 has been phenomenal. You cannot McClure's grown very partially as you look forward into the 1970s Do you see from any point of view you might choose to take the continuance of that growth of prosperity as Japan and have anything to fear now from a slowing down of the economy. I've always said that as long as the free world economic system remains healthy I expect that Japan is going to continue to grow along with it and Japanese rates of growth of as you have mentioned are phenomenal. They have more than doubled their gross national product each eight years since that we entered into a
treaty of peace. One hundred fifty two. At present rates of progression in about 10 between 10 and 15 more years Japan's per capita income is projected to be approximately the same as ours as of today. It's already past that of Italy and some of the other Western European countries. So I have no concern about the economic future Japan I consider Japan. With that economic potential is going to be a trading and economic and trading partner an economic power and a financial power of whom we have nothing to fear but rather from which we can benefit. We the United States can can ourselves benefit from prosperity in the rest of the world including prosperity in Japan I think Japan is one of the great examples of it. So I don't look forward with fear that it's going to bring competition of course in some
areas we're going to have our trading problems we're going to have our commercial problems as I often say. You know you don't have you don't have problems with countries and with whom you don't have business. Business gives rise to problems but it gives rise to my mind to do the right kind of problems is the kind of problems I'm glad to have great decisions one team 7 day program number 5 Japan. Our moderator DR HARLAN Hagman dean of administration at Wayne State University had as his guests the Honorable William P. Rogers United States secretary of state Dr. James Morley professor of Government at Columbia University and specialist in American Japanese relations. The Honorable you Alexis Johnson Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former ambassador to Japan. And Mr. Harry Ashmore vice president for the Center for the Study of democratic institutions. Join us next week for a discussion on United States defense policy. Great Decisions 1970 as produced by Wayne State University in Detroit in cooperation with the Foreign Policy Association
- Special of the week
- Issue 12-70 "Great Decisions"
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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