New Paths for Japan

New Paths for Japan

New Paths for Japan

New Paths for Japan

Excerpt

Three generations ago Japan emerged from more than two centuries of seclusion. Culturally too self-centred to realize that the progress which had passed her by had other than material value, she regarded herself as equipped forty years later to set forth upon what proved to be one of the most sensational and short-lived imperialist careers in history. In the following half- century, she became involved in five major wars and two military 'incidents'. Formosa, Korea, the Mandated Islands, Manchuria, a great part of China, and finally South-east Asia and the Southwest Pacific were subjected, in rapid succession, to her control. Only for one half of that half-century did this restless Power remain at peace. Yet, during this tempestuous progress in which war, preparation for war, and natural calamities strained her energies and resources, she contrived to build up a State with the material attributes and a complete veneer of modern civilization; and to attain the acknowledged status of a great industrial Power. Surrender to the Allies in August 1945 closed the final, disastrous phase of a meteoric episode and this precocious Empire passed into instant dissolution. Japan herself made her exit from the international stage in a manner even more spectacular than that of her original appearance.

The two years which have elapsed since the end of the Pacific War have, however, made it abundantly clear that the mere fact of defeat cannot dispose of the Japanese problem, which continues to demand the urgent attention of the Governments and peoples of the democracies. Unless a regenerate Japan can be induced to regard herself as a nation among fellow-nations, and offered the reasonable and peaceful opportunities which that relationship entails, her dynamic and highly disciplined people may continue to be a source of unrest in a continent which still lacks the pillars of stability. Furthermore, the plight to which Eastern Asia has been reduced by the war and its calamitous aftermath has convinced experienced observers, many of whom might have been . . .

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