Japan's Prospect

Japan's Prospect

Japan's Prospect

Japan's Prospect

Excerpt

The policies of the United Nations, and of the United States in particular, with respect to Japan have not yet been clarified adequately. Few thoughtful Americans would argue that the state of general information concerning Japan would enable them to reach a wise decision at this time. The effectiveness of any policy and the efficiency of its execution depend upon the nice adjustment of such a policy to the facts of the situation. The very complexity of the Japanese situation gives pause to anyone who takes the question of United Nations policy seriously.

The problem of policy with regard to Japan, Germany, and other defeated enemies usually is cast in terms of a "hard" or "soft" peace. This dichotomy has been promoted assiduously by the advocates of severe measures, with a keen eye toward the emotional implications of the idea of "softness" toward a hated enemy. This pair of adjectives drawn from the nursery is of very doubtful pertinence to the problems confronting the United Nations. Most Americans are interested primarily not in the moral question of the degree of punishment of the guilty, however important, but in the pragmatic and practical question of how to insure a degree of permanence in the peace. A durable peace, in cold fact, may not be permanent, let alone eternal; but a peace outlasting the present generation represents a fervent desire of people everywhere.

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