Japan Decision To Ensure Nuclear-Arms Potential Revealed

JAPAN, seeking a strong diplomatic card, secretly decided in 1969 to ensure it had the financial and technical potential to make nuclear arms without producing them, a Japanese daily, Mainichi Shimbun, reported yesterday.

It said the top secret, 100-page foreign ministry report entitled ``Prerequisites of Japan's Foreign Policy,'' stated that Tokyo should make sure it could produce such weapons, if needed, no matter what foreign pressures were applied. The report was drafted by top foreign ministry bureaucrats for internal use as a policy guideline, Mainichi said.

A spokesman refused to comment on the contents.

The 1969 report followed adoption the previous year of Japan's three nonnuclear principles: a ban on the possession, production, or introduction of such weapons.

Former bureaucrats who took part in drafting it said the report was part of an effort to build an unspoken consensus inside government. Mainichi said the ministry considered the ``potential'' as having been met. Japan threatens to break off trade talks

JAPAN yesterday countered the US threat of trade sanctions with its own threat to cut off negotiations on boosting access for US companies to Japanese markets for telecommunications and medical equipment.

The United States on Sunday gave formal notice that it would move to impose trade sanctions against Japan if further talks over the next 60 days failed to produce an agreement.

Japan's prime minister said he hoped Japanese delegates would continue to negotiate ``tenaciously.''

A US official said yesterday he was fairly optimistic an agreement could be reached before the Sept. 30 deadline. He also said progress had been made on talks on the insurance sector, another priority area in the current trade talks.

The two sides have already failed to reach market-opening agreements on autos, auto parts, insurance, and financial services under the two countries' framework talks, intended to reduce the US's $59 billion trade deficit with Japan.

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