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Crisis seen in relations with the ‘white’ powers

Ravages of Exploitation. The Task of Asia's Saviour.

(By Ishihara Koichiro, President of the Ishihara trading and Navigation Company, Limited) 

The world has witnessed the conquest, by the white races of the coloured peoples.  Japan, too, was once treated as if she were a dominion of the white races, having been subjected to extraterritorial jurisdiction on the part of the Occidental countries.  Japan was even forced by powerful foreign countries to return territory legitimately acquired as war indemnity. 

Again, our people were employed as guards of the white races in the Far East.  More recently during the Great War our country made great sacrifices dispatching warships to the distant Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.  Thus working on the side of the allied nations, Japan did everything in her power to win victory for them.  Not withstanding this fact, the white races after the close of the war, insinuated that Japan participated because of her territorial designs on Siberia, China and the South Sea islands. All they did in the way of compensation for our country was the transfer to Japanese mandate some isolated South Sea Islands. 

Worse, they even went to the length of denying racial equality to which she is entitled in the light of international justice and humanity.  The rights and interests rightfully obtained by our country in Manchuria were flouted China, who ran amok. This culminated in the Manchurian affair, which in turn resulted in the independence of Manchukuo.  It is further undeniable that, in the dispute between Japan and China, the white nations constantly supported China with the intent to embarrass Japan. 

Our Country has thus long put up to insults on the part the white races, but we cannot stand it forever.  In the Manchurian Affair, Japan was completely isolated, 42 countries having ranged themselves against her.  Under the circumstances, our country finally withdrew from the League of Nations at present it stands in a military position, internationally speaking. 

The foreign countries of late have been doing all in their power to exclude Japanese goods by raising the tariff wall in adopting an import quota.  They are also enforcing a racial wall exclusion policy against the Japanese through prohibition of Japanese immigrants and instituting economic restrictive measures.  Though the League of Nations has been endeavouring to place Japan in difficulties, its impotency has been evident at every turn.  The decadence of the white races is clearly evident.   

Although the foreign Powers are trying to exclude Japanese merchandise through tariff barriers and import quotas, they will be unable to cope with the economic power based on the great productive ability combined with cheap cost.  They are unable to maintain a solid front due to their cheap cost.  They are unable to maintain a solid front due to their mutual selfishness, with the result that it helps unwittingly to accelerate the advance of Japanese goods in the world markets.  The restriction and prohibition of Japanese immigration by the whites is further proof of their fear that they cannot compete with Japanese in work.  Japan’s present solitary position, international, economic and racial in the nature of things stimulates Japan to greater activity and advance. 

Diplomacy based on Justice 

Diplomacy should always be based on harmony and co-operation, and not on strife.  International strife, that is war, is a disaster for mankind.  International questions should be settled as far as possible through peaceful diplomatic channels, not through war.  It is evident, however, that settlement of international questions is impossible unless the State concerned has national power, both economic and military, if settlement through diplomatic channels is sought. 

Up to present, the ‘white’ Powers have been oppressing the coloured races, and through exploitation of the latter have enjoyed luxury and prosperity.  In boycotting Japanese merchandise, the whites are dictated solely by the desire to sell their expensive goods to the coloured races in their colonies, and it is thus patent that they totally disregard the interests of their subject races.  Their oppression of Japan is practically tantamount to the oppression of the coloured races as a whole.  The white Powers are still pursuing a dogmatic, self-seeking, and oppressive policy.  To bring the white races to their senses, Japan’s diplomacy must be strong.           

The white races have so far been pursuing an imperialistic and aggressive policy; the white races command vast areas for themselves, and have closed the door against immigrants from other countries.  On this account, the Japanese are confined in a narrow area.  All men, however, have an equal right to live, and it is no way unreasonable to exercise this right and demand that the white countries open up their colonies to other people. There surely is no harm in demanding the right of equality for all mankind, and this is and should be the sacred mission of the Japanese race.  The Japanese have not the least intention of establishing a world for themselves alone.   We must insist, however, that the white races recognize mankind’s equality of right, as well as freedom of trade.  And should the whites turn down this request, the Japanese will have to be in readiness to safeguard such necessity through exercise of the right of existence. 

Japan does not seek war.  But should Japan be refused her right to equality, even though she tries to gain it by peaceful diplomatic means, she will certainly fear national insecurity of living.  Japan must strengthen her national power in order to avoid war. 

Equal right to Armaments

Unequal armaments based on the London and Washington treaties are insisted upon by Britain and America in order to support their unreasonable vested rights.  At the time our country was obliged to conclude such agreements with them, having been unable to withstand their pressure.  Fortunately, however, the two agreements are to expire in 1936.  And to take the place of the unequal agreements, equal rights to armaments should be gained.  In all probability, however, this should, in such a case, the two countries bring pressure to bear upon us – though we think it will be found impossible in view of the actual situation – we shall have to rise and hold our own against them.  This is absolutely necessary for the racial development of our people.  Even if Britain and America should resort to force against Japan, we need not fear, nay it should be rather advantageous to our country if we try to settle the issue by force, though it is a fact that the supreme policy of our country is to realise our ends without having to recourse to war, if such be possible.  In order to attain our ends without using force, it is absolutely necessary to consolidate and strengthen our national defence and to join hands with countries, which have identical interests. 

The Soviet Union, founded on the principle of Communism, is the only country the political principles of which are utterly incompatible with the constitution of Japan.  She is a constant menace to Manchukuo.  As a result, tension exists. 

The basis on which the Soviet Union was originally formed was a purely theoretical socialism belonging to the schools of thought of Marx and Engels.  In view of the fact, however, that the welfare of the masses and the sound development of a nation are impossible under such theoretical “isms”, the Soviet Union gas already shifted to state capitalism, under which she is concentrating her efforts on the development of heavy industry by setting at nought the welfare of the nation.  In, consequence Russia is in dire straits.  The sound growth of a nation is impossible when its people are in a financially exhausted condition.  It is considered inevitable that the Soviet Union will have to depart from state capitalism to some other form of “ism”.  Viewing the Soviet Union from this angle, it is problematical whether communism will hold good in the future. 

The fact that the Soviet Union at present plots to menace and upset Manchukuo does not necessarily mean that she is prepared to wage war with Japan.  It means on the contrary that she is obsessed with the nightmare of a Japanese invasion into Siberia.  The independence of Siberia might be measure to perpetuate the peace of the Soviet-Manchukuo border, but it would involve great sacrifices on the part of Japan.  It is open to doubt whether the independence of Siberia is worthy of such sacrifices.  For there are other things requiring earlier solutions. 

To put it briefly, Japan must first further Soviet penetration into the Far East.  There is no doubt that a Soviet invasion into the Far East has been a constant subject of study for Russia since the Russo-Japanese War.  From these considerations, the Soviet Union had better spend less on her military arrangements in her Far Eastern territory, redouble her efforts of expansion from the far East into Persia.  In that case, Japan should be willing to supply the Soviet Union with whatever the latter wants.  If the Soviet Union is a liberty to advance on Persia, she will have nothing more to desire.  A rapprochement between the two nations both in letter and spirit is in the cause of their mutual benefits.  Further, in all likelihood, it will affect more or less British rule over India.  Then the Soviet-Japanese rapprochement would serve as a check against the highhanded policy of Britain in the East, undoubtedly ushering in better relation between Japan and China. 

Germany’s Courageous Action 

Germany, the loser in the World War, was ostracised by the Powers as a violator of peace and had to bear the stupendous burden of war reparations.  She as stripped of all her colonies and was completely disarmed.  Her patience having been exhausted at last, Hitler courageously divorced Germany from the League of Nations and decided not to pay war reparations.  Isolated, Germany is now desperately trying to cut her way out of her impasse.  She at present has no colonies, while she tops the list of European nations in point of population density (sic).  Nor is she in a position to be on a self-sufficing basis.  Her international position from all angles closely resembles that of Japan.  Hence, there is room for rapprochement.  German-Japanese co-operation is not only a step to save Germany from total collapse, but it is an effective step for Japan to arrest the advance of the United States, Britain, France and Italy into the Asiatic continent. 

It would also consolidate Germany’s position in Europe, enabling the Soviet Union to advance on Persia with greater ease.  In this sense, a perfect rapprochement among Japan, the Soviet Union and Germany is an absolute essential to the stabilization of Japan’s position in international politics, prevention of war among the nations and restoration of the principle of freedom of trade. 

Of late, some improvement is noticeable in Anglo-Japanese relations, and the resuscitation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance is rumoured.  Against such rumours we cannot be too cautious.  True, the two nations concluded an alliance years ago, but Japan had to act as a mere guard for British colonies lying in the Orient.  What is worse, Japan, because of the alliance, had no alternative, but to involve herself in the World War by sacrificing a great deal, materially and otherwise.  After the close of the war, however, Britain on her own initiative abrogated the alliance as a gesture of amity towards the United States. 

 At present, the British colonies in the Orient are in a state of unrest.  It may be on this account that the restoration of the alliance has come to be considered necessary.  Japan then must be cautious against such a proposal.  The economic interests of the two countries are not compatible.  Japan’s policy must be designed to stop the tendency of the British colonies and dominions to boycott Japanese goods, remove the tariffs and all other barriers which Britain has set up in such lands, and to establish the principle of the Open Door and Equal Opportunity in Australia.  The resuscitation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance is meaningless unless Britain reconsiders her attitude and upholds the principle of free trade and free immigration. 

War must be Avoided 

Rumours of a warlike outbreak between two Pacific nations are afloat in some quarters, but it must be born in mind that a war, if it actually occurs will not benefit the victorious nation although it will involve, unbearable sacrifices.  Every effort should be made by Japan to preclude such ominous possibilities.  But if the United States challenges Japan to war, Japan of course will have to take up the challenge.  It behooves Japan to map out such a policy towards the United States as it may prevent feelings of animosity from prevailing. 

An old saying has it that there is nothing more uncontrollable than a woman.  China is like an unchaste woman.  She is a sycophant before the stronger, and a braggart before the weaker.  In dealing with such a nation it is necessary for Japan to strike her first and then caress and coddle her.  Under present circumstances, it is unnecessary to adopt any particular measures against China, but if the latter plots some sinister action in reliance on the United States and European Powers, Japan must reply.  If a perfect Soviet-Japanese rapprochement results from the stabilisation of the situation in Manchukuo and if Japan succeeds in opening the doors of India, the South Sea islands and Australia, China will naturally curry favour with China. 

To make a long story short, the future foreign policy for Japan to follow should be along the following lines: 

1.       Rapprochement between Japan, Germany and the Soviet Union.

2.       Establishment of diplomatic autonomy in dealing with Britain and the United States.

3.       Restoration of armament equality.

4.       Establishment of racial equality and restoration of free trade principle

5.       Racial unification of the entire Asiatic continent in order to save the coloured races from the ravages of exploitation by the whites. 


(Translated by Contemporary Opinion, Tokyo)
The Japanese Weekly Chronicle, December 13th 1934.


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