Japan Sought Softer G-7 Wording on China at 1989 Summit

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government sought to avoid harsh criticism of China in a Group of Seven joint statement at its 1989 summit, according to diplomatic documents disclosed by Japan's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

Over the G-7 summit in France in July 1989, the Japanese ministry took the position of avoiding damage to Japan's basic relations with China while remaining a member of the West, the documents showed.

The ministry aimed for any mentioning of human rights issues in China to be indirect in a G-7 statement.

However, a statement draft presented by France, the summit's chair, denounced the Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing on June 4 in the same year as a brutal crackdown and called for sanctions against China, including a suspension of high-level exchanges.

Briefed about the draft, then Japanese Prime Minister Sousuke Uno showed concern about the strong wording, prompting the Foreign Ministry to propose to other G-7 countries that the statement should note that the G-7 had no intention to isolate China. Negotiations on the statement were deadlocked, however.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press