Japanese Industrialists are selfish; they are motivated by lust for profit
and by sheer greed. We who love the Army hate the spirit which the
Industrialists are putting in the nation. We believe in character,
in honour, and in poverty.”
a small room in Tokyo a Japanese with great influence in the Army was
explaining to me the ideals that actuate the soldiers of the Son of
Heaven, and in the words which I have quoted he summed up the struggle
which will take place and is now taking place between two sections of
Japanese life - the industrialists and the Army.
Army hates Osaka - the Manchester of Japan - for Osaka symbolizes
capitalism, and the Army is anti-capitalistic.
Osaka merchants want to beat England and bring Lancashire to her knees.
But the Army recognises the value of clear understanding with Great
Britain in order to counteract the influence of Bolshevism.” So
spoke another expert on Japan to me.
versus the Army - that is the conflict, and the Army is having the upper
seemed strange to me, when I arrived in Japan that the Army should play
such a vital part in politics; that Army officers should openly proclaim
to the nation their views on economics, and that the Army, which in most
countries is conservative, should have Socialistic views, while
suppressing “international Socialism.”
young officers have a hatred for the big capitalists such as the Mitsuis
and the Mitsubishis who dominate Japanese industrial life.
soldiers realise that commerce in Japan is in the hands of a few large
family groups whose word is law in finance and manufacture.
Sympathy for Rich
fear that too large profits are going into the hands of a few, and they
fight, for a more equal distribution of wealth. They have a profound
disdain for luxury, and revering a Spartanlike existence, they have no
sympathy for the rich.
believe that concentration of wealth in a few hands leads to the
deterioration of the wealthy class and to the impoverishment of those
classes from which the soldiers are drawn. They look towards Europe,
and there they consider that the West is facing a catastrophe due to
excessive capitalism, to mechanisation, and to an exaggerated stress upon
individualism and egoism.
us save our nation from the evil results of Western capitalism,” the
young officers cry. “Let us return to the true worship of the
Emperor. Let the State be all powerful and curb the rapacity of the
rich. Let the State produce goods and be, responsible for the
young Japanese officers - very honest, deeply sincere, vague in their
thoughts, but imbued with a passionate idealism - are working out their
plans for a State Socialistic Japan.
must, however, have an experimentation ground where they can test their
ideas. They have decided that their field for research will be none
other than the Manchukuo taken from the Chinese.
is to be the next Socialistic State. It will be a Soviet Union run
on Japanese lines. Already, there are three industries under the
control of the State, firstly the railway (the famous South Manchurian
Railway, which runs coalmines, steelworks, and many factories), secondly
salt, and thirdly opium.
man of no little importance prophesied to me: “We will in Manchukuo
develop a State Industry in cement, in the building of locomotives, and in
coal, which we hope to nationalise. In fact, we will socialise
almost everything. Manchukuo will be an example of State
type of nationalistic State Socialism is opposed by the industrialists,
who wish private enterprise to dominate. But what can the
industrialists do against the Army?
Manchukuo, therefore, in the future. It may be annexed completely by
Japan, and it may be, after Soviet Russia, the world’s most interesting
field for experiments in State Socialisation and in the battle against