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S E C R E T TOKYO 002154
SECDEF PASS TO DUSD LAWLESS,
NSC PASS TO D. WILDER AND V. CHA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/20/2026
TAGS: PREL, MARR, KS, JA
SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR AND VFM YACHI DISCUSS LIANCOURT
REF: TOKYO 002098
Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reason: 1.4 (b) (d).
1. (S) At 11:00 a.m. on April 20, the Ambassador spoke
with VFM Yachi, at Yachi's request, regarding simmering
tensions between Japan and the ROK over a planned Japanese
maritime survey near the disputed Liancourt Rocks (reftel).
He explained, briefly, that the ROK intended to propose to an
international commission in June that features on the bottom
of the sea in the disputed area be given Korean names. Japan
wants to survey the area in order to make a counter-proposal
at the meeting. Korea, Yachi stated, may use force to block
the survey ship. Yachi further noted that he might travel to
Seoul the following day, April 21, to try to resolve the
2. (S) The Ambassador stated the United States understands
that Japan is within its rights under international law. The
Koreans are behaving irrationally, and the United States is
concerned that they may do something crazy, causing a major
problem. Everyone needs to back off, he stressed, to enable
the matter to be resolved peacefully. We do not want our two
allies shooting at each other, he asserted. The Ambassador
advised that he might get in touch with FM Aso later in the
3. (C) Yachi thanked the Ambassador for his concern and
said he would do his best. He requested that the Ambassador
send an Embassy representative to the Foreign Ministry to
hear Japan's position on the issue.