The leaders of seven Western industrialised countries gathered in Tokyo on Wednesday (27 June) for an economic summit conference at which the nations 'energy requirements are at the top of the agenda.
The leaders of seven Western industrialised countries gathered in Tokyo on Wednesday (27 June) for an economic summit conference at which the nations 'energy requirements are at the top of the agenda. President Jimmy Carter and the Japanese are proposing a detailed two-year programme with every country being given its own target to reduce oil imports. But the European countries want a less-rigid six-year programmes. Leaders from the United States, Japan, West Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada will take part in the two-day summit meeting.
SYNOPSIS: One of the first arrivals in Tokyo on Wednesday (27 June) was Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany. President Carter, had been in Japan since Monday (25 June) for three days of officials engagements and discussions with the Japanese Government before the summit began. Chancellor Schmidt is one of the supporters of the European Common Market position -- agreed last week in Strasbourg -- that oil imports should be held at their 1978 levels for the next five years.
Another supporters of the five-year freeze is Italy's Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti. He along with the leaders of France and West Germany will be facing opposition on the question of oil imports. The Japanese and the Americans have all but sewn-up an agreements for fixed country-by-country limits. They want targets for reducing oil imports to last only to 1980.
One of the first casualties of the alliance were the French. President Giscard d'Estaing drew a hurt rebuke from the United States Embassy for suggesting in a recent magazine interview that the Americans might be using rather too much oil. The Soviet Union had given the French special permission to fly the supersonic Concorde airliner across Russia and the flight set a new record for the distance of nine hours and forty-three minutes.
British Prime Minister, margaret Thatcher was the last of the leaders to arrive in Tokyo and she was a few minutes late for her welcoming party. Mingling among the crowds when Mrs. Thatcher arrived were several highly-trained policewomen. On the energy question, mrs Thatcher remains strongly opposed to oil imports controls. She will be meeting the French and West German leaders before the summit meeting begins to discuss a unified approach. Soon after arriving, mrs Thatcher went to the U.S. Embassy for her first meeting with President Carter since her election two months ago. They talked about the problem of Vietnamese refugees. Mrs. Thatcher had discussed the topic with Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin during a stop-over in Moscow on the way to Tokyo and officials said she brought Mr. Carter up-to-date on Soviet attitudes to the refugees.