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 7: Complete Files for 1969-1971
(PRO Class FCO 21/555-593, 636-639, 720-769, 798-800 & 877-926)
Part 7 continues the microfilm series for the years 1969-1971.
- Economic and financial policy issues are again well covered.
- Other files cover the impressive Osaka Expo, the extension of the Security Treaty with the United States in 1970 and the Agreement of 1969 for the return of Okinawa to Japan, implemented in 1972.
- Increasingly, the documents begin to show heightened concerns in Britain, America and Europe about the speed of Japan’s advance in foreign trade. There is evidence of anxiety about the growing imbalance of trade, the potential for destabilising consequences for international finance, the exceptional growth in trade with China and Taiwan, even criticism of Japanese reluctance to liberalise import controls and open up her markets to the West.
- The files towards the end of 1971 address the impact of the devaluation of the dollar against the yen, the confusion in financial markets and in trade, the severe inflation in Japan and difficulties for the Sato administration.
- Also well covered is the great upsurge of discontent in universities in Japan - the peace movement, campaigning on pollution and environmental issues.
Throughout the period, as the files in this microfilm edition demonstrate, Japan did everything possible to foster good relations with the United States and Britain. Covering an era which saw an escalation in hostility between East and West it is interesting to see how, whilst other countries were attempting to break away from capitalism, Japan was fostering a burgeoning economy and improving political and cultural relations.