- アジア研究 (ISSN:00449237)
- vol.54, no.4, pp.70-86, 2008 (Released:2014-09-15)
This study attempts to establish the limits of the Chinese Communist Party leadership’s perception of Japan based on negotiations over the Fourth Japan-China Private Trade Agreement and the Nagasaki national flag incident. It explains the underlying rationale for and reason why the Chinese decided to break off relations with Japan, what their perceptions of the situation were, and what they had failed to perceive. In addition, this study analyzes the interaction between Chinese intelligence acquisition, data analysis and the perception of Chinese policy-makers.
When the trade negotiations began in Beijing in September 1957, China’s policy-makers, albeit wary of the Kishi cabinet’s attitude towards China, were optimistic about the prospects for Japanese domestic approval of Sino-Japanese trade; China’s negotiators were not ready to compromise. After the negotiations broke down, demand for trade with China grew strong in Japan and the Kishi cabinet actively worked towards concluding an agreement, whereby the Chinese leaders, although holding fast to certain principles, displayed a more flexible stance. Negotiations were reopened in February 1958, but there was no change in the ambivalent position of the Chinese policy-makers on Japan and their negotiator won some concessions from the Japanese side. During these negotiations, any arbitrary analysis of information obtained by China’s pro-Japan intelligence agencies was checked and nothing suggested that the policy-makers entertained any noteworthy misunderstandings of Japan.
China turned to stronger methods when Taiwan’s objection to the Fourth Japan-China Trade Agreement developed into a dispute between Japan and Taiwan. At the time of Japan’s general elections, Chinese policy-makers tried to encourage a more China-friendly public opinion by criticizing the policy towards China that the Kishi cabinet was practicing, thereby hoping to alter the Kishi government’s position on China. These moves were consistent with China’s existing policy of “Japan neutralization”. However, there was limited domestic criticism of how Kishi dealt with China, a fact that Chinese intelligence agencies were to some extent informed of. Motivated by a disapproval of the Kishi cabinet and high hopes for Sino-Japanese trade, they made arbitrary deductions based on gathered information suggesting that China’s hard-line stance was in fact bringing results.
In these circumstances, Chinese policy-makers adopted an even tougher position on Japan in the wake of the Nagasaki national flag incident and decided to break off relations. The Chinese did not intend a complete and permanent cessation of relations, but rather wanted to apply pressure on Kishi. As such, the decision was in line with China’s policy of “Japan neutralization”. On the other hand, Kishi perceived China’s hard-line stance as interference with Japan’s general elections, and chose to observe calmly how events unfolded. Japanese opinion continued to support Kishi government policies. However, China’s pro-Japan intelligence agencies disregarded this fact and produced arbitrary intelligence that China’s hard-line stance was in fact bringing results. Hence Chinese policy-makers persisted with their hard-line stance and did not modify their “Japan neutralization” policy.
In retrospect, this chain of events suggests that one cause for China’s failed Japan policy was the failure of its intelligence agencies to comprehend that mounting Japanese domestic demand for trade with China had the potential to alter Japan’s foreign policy. Chinese intelligence analysis had backed up its policy-makers’ hard-line stance, and hence China continued to maintain the ambition of achieving its “Japan neutralization” policy.
The limited insight of China’s Japan-related intelligence agencies was the result of the following three factors: firstly, their abilities to collect and analyze intelligence were not yet fully developed;