The World: Undiplomatic Admission

The Japanese government has never before admitted the obvious: that the establishment of diplomatic relations with Peking—which it now favors —would lead inevitably to a break in its friendly ties with the Chinese Nationalist regime in Taipei. But last week, inscrutably enough, the government of Premier Kakuei Tanaka casually released a document saying just that.

Why the undiplomatic admission? Chief Cabinet Secretary Susumu Nikaido lamely explained that the document, labeled the government's "basic views" on establishing normal relations with China, was a confidential policy and should not have been released. Then he disclosed that the Japanese have actually been working on a...