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craft in proportion. That is, they were willing to stop building when they had built all they had money to pay for. Their attitude was best summed up in the words of Marquis Okuma, spoken with that arch ingenuousness which has enchanted many American notables:
"It is for the strong always to defer to the weak. They can yield without sacrifice of pride or humiliation, because they are strong. For the weak to defer to the strong is to suffer humiliation and imperil themselves, too. You, America, and Great Britain are the strong. It is for you to disarm first and show us the good example."
One might have pressed that analogy embarrassingly to cover the relations of China and Japan, but one does not do that with Okuma. A surviving statesman of the Restoration and thrice premier, he is the Grandest Old Man of Japan, a living legendary figure, institutionalized. One goes to the prophet, and he gives forth wisdom. One does not go disputatiously.
This attitude is not personal or even group refractoriness. It springs from a philosophy of place. Virtually all the men who rule Japan, in or out of office, are militarists by profession or owe their advancement to militarist support. Theirs is a militarism by heredity, and theirs a vested interest in the things of militarism. And men do not decree their own passing.
There is the added complication of the interplay of clan relations. On the whole the rulership of Japan is divided between two clans, Satsuma and Choshu. They are the survivals of the two strongest and most influen
tial clans of the feudal shogunate period. Between them is a vigilant rivalry and sensitive jealousy, and much of the politics of Japan must be interpreted in the light of that rivalry. By a division of perquisites that came early after the abandonment of the shogunate sixty years ago the Choshu was given control of the army, the Satsuma of the navy. Now, any form of armament reduction would mean the weakening of both against the parvenu industrial barons and the commonalty. And since restriction would affect the navy more than the army, it would mean the weakening of Satsuma as against Choshu. The industrial barons must also be given weight in the balance. They are a fast-rising influence in Japanese affairs. Their alliance with the old feudal chieftains now turned militarist and bureaucrat is one of the basic facts in Japanese political life in the last ten years. The five or six powerful trading and manufacturing companies that constitute the industrial and financial oligarchy owe their wealth and influence in a large degree to their connections with
the militarist-imperialist elements. To the militarist-imperialist enterprises on the Asiatic continent they look for their financial and commercial expansion. They, too, have a vested interest in the things of militarism.
To move this dead weight of interest there is only one fulcrum, one not too robust.
That is public opinion in Japan itself. Uninformed and unorganized and unaware of its power as this is, it has nevertheless begun to make itself felt. The Japanese people have an intimate concern with armaments.
Forty-nine per cent. of the latest budget is allotted to military expenditure, and the Japanese people, with a low wage-scale and a cost of living proportionately higher than ours, bend under the load of taxation required. With their increasing political consciousness they have begun to groan articulately and menacingly, all the more so because they find moral support in the public speeches of men like Ozaki, once a member of the cabinet, and even in the timorous generalities of the more venturesome section of the press.
No Japanese statesman not of the highest military rank, and therefore not subject to popular check, would dare to come out uncompromisingly in favor of appropriations for military expansion. He might advocate reduction and get into power on that platform, as Okuma did, and then outdo his predecessors in expenditure, and escape the penalty by winning popular favor on some side issue, specially some exploit in foreign affairs that fed the national vanity. Not only Okuma has done that. But no statesman could now declare himself openly and in advance for military expansion and increased taxation, not even with the American bogy painted its fiercest.
If the conference at Washington is conducted with sufficient publicity and the other powers press the issue to the Japanese people, forcing the burden of rejection on the Japanese delegates, I doubt whether they would have the timerity to choose rejection. It would weaken the appeal the Japanese ruling classes have always been able to put before
their people, that Japan is encompassed by designing enemies, specially America. America. But thus to force the issue to the Japanese people convincingly demands not only a genuine desire for limitation of armament on the part of the other powers, but a vigorous and positive faith in it, and solidarity as well. I permit myself a question as to whether those exist.
Given the most promising and satisfactory arrangement possible with respect to future armament, the powers will nevertheless have been dealing with a symptom rather than an organic derangement, with an effect rather than a cause. They will have restricted the evils that flow from war, but they will not have touched the causes that lead to war. These causes have been making since the first white trader put in at a south China port and the first Western gunboat followed to keep him there against the protests of the Chinese-protests voicing a racial instinct, later to be vindicated, that the white man's coming brought evil in its
train. The situation that confronts the world now in the Far East is only the cumulative effect of those causes. It is a situation that has been presented before from other parts of the world out of the same causes and that will be presented again from the Far East, the West, the North, and the South until the causes are eradicated-until, in short, the derangement in the organism of international society is cured by the knife.
That, of course, is only another way of saying that what confronts this conference is just what confronted the one at Paris three years ago. It is just
that I mean to emphasize. Unless that is realized, this conference must of necessity come to naught. Just as, if I may venture an opinion in a controversial sphere, the Paris conference has come to naught. In passing I may point out that had that conference fulfilled the hopes that were built upon it, were there functioning now a real League of Nations instinct with the spirit one hoped would be born out of the war, this conference would not be necessary. This is only another legacy from the death of those hopes.
There is the danger that in this conference also there will be the enunciation of euphonious and euphemistic formulæ without application of them in concrete as a token of good faith. Well, formulæ have been laid down before to cover the Far East. The volumes of recent diplomatic history are thick with treaties guaranteeing China's integrity, and it has become so that Chinese tremble when another guaranty of their integrity is set down by two powers. It unfailingly leads to a new raid on China's integrity.
At the beginning of this century John Hay pronounced the doctrine of the open door for China, which every power publicly embraced. And not a single door to the various national compartments in China has ever been opened, and new ones have been cut and shut. Only a year ago in New York, in the formation of the new consortium, another formula was laid down; namely, that in the future loans to the Chinese Government be made only through the combination of powers constituting the consortium, thus ending the régime of spheres of influence, competition for concessions,
and the debauching of the Chinese Government with loans that are merely bribes. And the ink was not dry on the articles of agreement before the signers had begun emasculating it in act. Mr. Ono of the Commercial Bank of Japan is now in Peking offering new loans in exchange for recognition of the utterly corrupt Nishihara loans of 1917 and 1918, and Mr. Takahashi, the Japanese Minister of Finance, has publicly declared Japan's willingness to "save the Chinese treasury" single-handed-in exchange for control, of course. And before I sailed for home from Hong-Kong a few weeks ago British representatives from Hong-Kong had gone to Peking to bring pressure on the Chinese Government for recognition of the Kwangtung Collieries Agreement, a contract made with a group of military bandits and calculated to make the most highly developed province in China a British colony. Where is the pooling of interests, the end of intriguing for concessions, where the consortium?
To give new guaranties, enunciate new principles, establish new formulæ, is alluringly, perilously easy, and as illusory. Why should Japan, since it is Japan whose encroachments have been most sinister in recent years, and since it is Japan that one has most in mind-why should Japan refuse to sign an agreement at Washington in 1921 guaranteeing China's integrity when it has signed a dozen such in as many years, the last one being no more than four years ago in the Lansing-Ishii Agreement? Why should it refuse to sign an agreement pledging the open door and equality of opportunity for all nations trading in China when it
has signed that agreement a dozen times also? Or any other agreement? And why should any other power refuse when experience gives full assurance that agreements need not embarrass anybody? And what difference is it to China and to the peace of the Far East if they sign any or all of them, in the light of what those agreements mean without the spirit of the signers behind the letter of that which is signed?
While this is being written the agenda for the conference is the subject of diplomatic conversation among the powers. This describes another tangent on which the powers may wander off into nullity. As the mere enunciaAs the mere enunciation of new formulæ is illusory, so also is absorption in what are known as FarEastern or Pacific problems. The FarEastern situation is more than an accumulation of problems. Wars are never made by specific problems except when specific problems are made the symbol of a struggle originating in conflicting imperial "destinies."
The removal of individual maladjustments and the healing of running sores are indispensable ingredients in any peace prophylaxis, but they are only two ingredients. Shan-tung is such a sore. So long as Japan is permitted to retain the Kiao-chau Peninsula by virtue of the iniquitous award of the Versailles treaty and to maintain its troops at the very capital of Shantung, commanding the principal right of way and thus closing an economic stranglehold over a whole quarter of China, there can be no stability in the Far East. So long as Japan persists in exercising sovereignty over south Manchuria and profiting by exactly
the same usurpation of monopolistic privileges that it condemned when the Russians were guilty and later fought Russia over, with the sympathy
of most of the world, there can be no stability in the Far East.
If Japan continues to subsidize insurrection in Siberia and spread chaos by means of its paid Russian agents while at the same time forcing monopolistic economic rights to all eastern Siberia, there can
be no stability in the Far East. If Japan exacts full payment of the pound of flesh for which it forced China to sign the bond in 1915 when the rest of the world was engaged on the battle-fields of Europe, there can be no stability in the Far East. Certainly there can be only confusion and retrogression in China so long as Japan underwrites disorder in China, employs agents to keep the waters muddied, and subtly frustrates every effort by China to put itself on its feet.
The question of the future of Yap is in another category. It is episodic and transitory and, I believe, serious not on its intrinsic merits, but because of the already strained relations between the United States and Japan. The question of the rights of Japanese immigrants in the United States also is in another category. It is serious intrinsically because it creates the background of resentment that makes issues like Yap assume swollen proportions when they would otherwise be routine matters of diplomatic adjustment. Certainly there cannot be amicable relations between Japan and the United States so long as the United States uses its legal right to discrimi
nate against its Japanese residents in such a way as to convey the greatest possible insult.
These issues are in themselves of vast importance. Each of them now increases international tension. All of them must be settled. But it is not enough to settle any of them or all of them. Were they by some benign Providence that never watches over international affairs miraculously to be lifted out of the political scene, that still would not be an assurance of peace. For two reasons,
First, the Paris peace conference demonstrated that it was not enough to solve specific problems and remove specific injustices if the conditions that produced those problems and the moral attitudes that created the injustices were unchanged. A power bent on aggression, blocked on one road, lays another. It would be easy for Japan to agree to evacuate Shantung and then evacuate it; and every student of Far-Eastern affairs who knows Chinese political conditions intimately knows that Japan could buy it back again in sixty days through its tools among Chinese officialdom lifted back into power by Japanese financial support. It could evacuate Siberia, and then by backing men like Kappel and Simionov, its agents of the moment, obtain concessions to everything in Siberia worth having. The outcry that arose both East and West after the Twenty-one Demands were forced on China in 1915 did compel Japan to abandon its territorial and political aggressions in China, but Japan only changed her strategy to economic penetration, and found the
results just as profitable. One problem will only be exchanged for another so long as Japan's objects remain the same; that is, so long as its imperialistic policy dictates the acquirement of hegemony over the East of Asia.
This brings us to the second reason, Japan's imperial policy. Japan indicated clearly enough by its reservations in its acceptance of President Harding's invitation that it does not want to discuss Far-Eastern questions. It does not want to discuss Manchuria or Shan-tung or the manifold gains won by the Twenty-one Demands. It is reluctant to discuss them not so much because it fears the prejudicing of those gains in themselves or because those gains are so invaluable in themselves, but because all of them represent definite steps taken in the last ten years toward what it conceives to be its imperial destiny. By them it won its paramountcy over China and recognition of its paramountcy by the Allies early in the war and later by America in the Lansing-Ishii Agreement. It crystalized the so-called
Monroe Doctrine of the Far East. The Japanese variation of that doctrine is that Asia shall be for Asiatics alone as far as the Western hemisphere is concerned, and Asia for the Japanese as far as the Eastern hemisphere is concerned. It cannot relinquish its monopoly in Manchuria, it cannot step out of Siberia, it cannot give back Shan-tung, it cannot cancel the Twentyone Demands without turning back on its destiny as it conceives its destiny or revising entirely its conception of it. The first no nation ever does willingly; the second it sees no reason to do.