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 8: Complete Files for 1972-1974
(PRO Class FCO 21/959-960, 1026-1054, 1082-1085, 1144-1172, 1212-1217 and 1275-1306
This next part continues the microfilm series for the years 1972-1974.
- There is material on Japanese reactions following the US rapprochment with China following Nixon's surprise visit to Peking in 1971.
- Economic and financial policy issues are covered in detail.
Japan suffered less economic dislocation from the oil crisis of 1973 than most other nations. There were concerns about Japan's vunerability to any threat to the nation's energy supplies. Popular pressure against air polution and other adverse side effects of rapid economic growth also came to the fore.
- Many files cover the administration of Tanaka Kakuei who was elected as Prime Minister in July 1972. He resigned in December 1974 following allegations that he had amassed his private fortune by irregular means. The business of the Lockheed revelations and trials was to follow later.
- There are details on Tanaka's visit to Peking and Japan's moves to recognise the People's Republic of China.
- The files show that Tanaka developed strong relations with America and with American business contacts.
- When the Tanaka cabinet took over, his government was the most popular in Japanese post-war history.
Although he claimed ill health, the full story of his resignation bears some similarities to Watergate and Nixon's demise.