The seven-nation summit meeting is scheduled to start in Tokyo Thursday morning. Here is a summary of the positions of France, West Germany, Great Britain and Japan, the four other major industrial nations, at the start of the talks.
France hopes to go to Tokyo with a mandate to speak, in effect, for the European Economic Community on energy matters, the main item on everyone's agenda for the summit.
With mixed success the French have been pressing in community for adoption of a common European front based on a program that the French presented as the centerpiece of the EEC summit in Strasbourg, France, last week.
In addition to France, the nine-nation EEC includes three of the seven participants at Tokyo - Britain, Italy and West Germany.
It includes more intensified contacts with the oil-exporting countries, especially Saudi Arabia, to get them to agree to raise production to meet the noncommunist world's needs at some level that can be depicted as representing a sacrifice by the West. The French argue that if the West does not make such an effort, it cannot effectively answer the arguments of such oil-country spokesmen as Saudi petroleum minister Sheikh Zaki Yamani that it is pointless to such wasteful people.
The French insist that cooperation among the industrialized nations is the only way to avoid cut-throat competition for available oil supplies, but French officials reject such cooperation through the 20-nation International Energy Agency founded expressly for that purpose.
Except for France, all the nations to be represented at the Tokyo summit already have been coordinating their energy cooperation through the IEA.
France insists that the 5-year-old agency, which they have boycotted from the start, carries what they call "the original sin" of having allegedly been formed as a bloc for confrontation with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Instead, the French program calls for the maximum contact at all levels with the oil-exporting countries. Stated privately is a French view that the Carter administration may be in the process of fumbling the ball in the on-going game with Saudi Arabia, just as most Europeans think the United States muffed things with Iran. Some of those officials, including President Valery Giscard D'Estaing, are known to express the feeling that Washington is indifferent to Europe's energy needs and that if the Europeans cannot get the United States to take part in a cooperative effort, Western Europe should strike out on its own to seek a bargain with OPEC.
So far, however, the French have met with resistance from West Germany. CAPTION: Map, no caption