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Japan and the U.S. Hostage Crisis in Lebanon

In the summer of 1985, the Japanese Government attempted to mediate the release of American hostages taken during the hijacking of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 847. This collection details Japan's diplomacy with Hezbollah’s allies in Syria and Iran in order to secure the release of the hostages, as well how the Japanese Government interfaced with the United States on this sensitive matter. (Image: TWA hostages wave upon returning to the United States in 1985. Credit: United States Armed Forces DF-ST-86-03861.)

Popular Documents

July 31, 1985

Draft Letter, Nakasone Yasuhiro to Hafez al-Assad

A letter from Prime Minister Nakasone of Japan to President Assad of Syria discussing the relationship between Japan and Syria, including the American hostages held in Lebanon and Ambassador Yoshihiro Nakayama’s upcoming visit to Syria.

July 29, 1985

Problem of the American Hostages in Lebanon (Prime Minister Nakasone’s Instructions to Vice-Minister Yanagiya)

A report detailing Prime Minister Nakasone’s instructions to Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yanagiya regarding Japan assisting in the release of the American hostages in Lebanon.

July 26, 1985

[Draft] Letter, Shintaro Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, to George P. Shultz, Secretary of State

In a letter to Secretary of State Schultz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Abe describes his visits with various countries in the Middle East after the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with Dialogue Partners. He discusses the Iran-Iraq conflict, the American hostages held in Lebanon, and the general issue of peace in the Middle East.

July 31, 1985

Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Prime Minister’s Letter to President Assad (Draft))

Attachment to the Japanese Prime Minister’s letter to President Assad about the American hostages in Lebanon.

September 6, 1985

Second North America Division, 'President Reagan’s Letter to Prime Minister Nakasone'

Note describing a letter from President Reagan to Prime Minister Nakasone about the Action Program.