FOREIGN OFFICE FILES FOR JAPAN AND THE FAR EAST
Series Two: British Foreign Office Files for Post-War Japan, 1952-1980
(Public Record Office Classes FO 371 and FCO 21)
Part 4: Complete Files for 1960-1962
(PRO Class FO 371/150561-150654, 158477-158541 & 164958-165033)
Part 4 provides the files for 1960-1962, years that witnessed Japan’s continued rapid economic growth and emergence on the world stage as a major economic power. Regular features comprise the following files:
- Japan: Annual Review.
- Fortnightly reports on the political situation.
- Japan’s foreign trade.
- Political relations between Japan and Soviet Union.
- Political relations between Japan and the United States.
- Political relations between Japan and the UK.
Other significant documents cover:
- Details of the new Security Pact and the vociferous opposition to this from the Socialists which turned into a personal campaign against the Japanese Premier Kishi.
- The removal of Kishi’s opponents from the Diet corridors by the police followed by mass demonstrations.
- The assassination of Asanuma Inejiro, Secretary-General of the
Socialist Party, by a right wing fanatic.
- The Ten Year Plan.
- The Motor Industry, Engineering and Industrial Growth.
- Agriculture and Rice Production.
- Prime Minister Ikeda’s visit to the United States.
- The Treaty of Commerce between Japan and Britain, signed in November when Ikeda visited London.
- Relations with China, Britain and the United States (including resumption of Trade relations between Japan and Communist China).
- Sino-Soviet disputes.
- The continued influence of Yoshida Shigeru, the remarkable veteran aged 84 in 1962, who lived in retirement at Oiso. He remained such an important factor in the shaping of Japanese state affairs that politicians and journalists coined the phrase "government by remote control from Oiso". This came to a head with his statement at a meeting of the America-Japan Society in
July 1962 that "Japan as a member of the Free World should be prepared to arm itself with nuclear weapons if it is to tighten its partnership with the United States". This certainly proved embarrassing for the Japanese cabinet.