177 Cablegram from Embassy in Tokyo to Department of Foreign Affairs

Tokyo, 4 August 1971

1490. Confidential Priority

Uranium Enrichment

Tamiya,1 Deputy Director of Atomic Energy Bureau, asked Maxwell2 to see him 4 August regarding United States offer of Uranium Enrichment.

  1. Tamiya advised that following receipt of U.S. aide memoire Japan proposed to U.S. that informal talks be held between U.S. and Japan in Geneva at time of international conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy to explore further the details of U.S. offer. Japan is interested, for example, in obtaining more details about 'appropriate financial and security arrangements'.
  2. Apparently U.S. reply to this approach was that U.S. was not prepared to discuss these matters on a bilateral basis and said that discussions should be on a wider basis. Helfrich,3 USAEC representative in Tokyo, mentioned to us 3 August that U.S. would not discuss uranium enrichment on a bilateral basis but was prepared to do so on a multilateral basis and he indicated that the term multilateral could mean two or three countries. He said he had already advised the Japanese accordingly.
  3. Japanese were therefore seeking reaction of Canadian and Australian governments to the possibility of these three countries having joint discussions with U.S. at Geneva conference. Tamiya emphasised that by proposing that these three countries should approach U.S. for discussions, Japan was not committing itself to any future course of action, but it was the most convenient grouping at this stage in order to meet U.S. requirement that discussions be held on multilateral basis.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1838, 720/4/9 part 3]