Documents Reveal China Tolerated SDF Peacekeeping

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Chinese national flag

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — China said in talks related to then Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin’s 1992 visit to Japan that it would tolerate the neighboring country’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations, according to Japanese diplomatic documents released Wednesday.

A Chinese official involved in Jiang’s visit informed Japan’s Foreign Ministry of the policy, at a time when the Japanese government was aiming to enact a bill on cooperation with U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Previously, Beijing had urged caution over the participation of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in peacekeeping operations, in view of history before and during World War II.

The shift to accepting Tokyo’s position on peacekeeping cooperation was likely aimed at facilitating the visit to China by the then Japanese Emperor, held in October that year. Jiang’s official visit to Japan in April 1992, which coincided with the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries, was aimed at advancing negotiations over the Imperial trip.

During his stay in Japan, Jiang asked then Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa to realize the then Emperor’s visit to China.

Two days after Jiang’s April 6 arrival in Japan, the Japanese Foreign Ministry created a document on the Chinese leader’s remarks on the peacekeeping operations issue.