U.S. Department of State
96/09/20 Press Release: FRUS Vol. XXII, 1961-1963, Northeast Asia
Office of the Historian

For Immediate Release
September 20, 1996

Release of Foreign Relations Series: Northeast Asia, 1961-1963

The Department of State is releasing today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, volume XXII, Northeast Asia, a volume in the Department's long-standing historical documentary series. Volume XXII is one of many volumes documenting the foreign policies of the administration of John F. Kennedy.

The volume documents U.S. relations with China, Korea, and Japan, each of which was undergoing significant change during this period: The Nationalists' dream of retaking the Chinese mainland was fading; Taiwan's economic development was underway; the Sino-Soviet dispute was growing increasingly shrill and intense; the Republic of Korea was in the midst of moving from a brief period of democracy to military dominance; and Japan was emerging as a first class economic power and beginning to assert itself on the international scene. The United States sought to encourage this emergence and convince Japan to allot more resources to its own defense. In Korea, the Kennedy administration tried to move the government toward democracy and reduce the cost of defending it. The China compilation in this volume documents support within the administration for a shift in U.S. policy toward China and suggests that this was Kennedy's initial inclination, but it casts doubt on the likelihood of any major policy change. The published documents highlight the issue of Chinese representation at the United Nations and the U.S. relationship with the Nationalist government on Taiwan, which was seriously shaken by hints of possible changes in U.S. policy.

In the Japan compilation, the documents concentrate on U.S.-Japanese trade relations, especially textiles, the issue of the future of the Ryukuyu islands, efforts to foster closer U.S-Japanese political, economic, and military relations, and U.S. encouragement of Japan's expanded role in the international arena. Of the material selected for publication, 13.5 percent was not declassified. The still-classified documents relate to ramifications and arrangements arising from certain aspects of the Mutual Security Treaty of 1960 and concerns and actions of the U.S. Government in response to the political situation in Japan during 1958(1960. Because of the deletion of three documents from the 1958(1960 period, the volume's preface includes a disclaimer that the compilation is "not a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record" of U.S. foreign policy decisions concerning Japan.

An announcement and a summary of the contents of volume XXII are available in the Press Office. Ordering information is included in the announcement. A copy of the volume is available for reading and consultation in the Press Office, and other copies are available for consultation in the Office of the Historian.


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