THE PACIFIC WORLD IN
THE history of mankind is now entering the Pacific era: that is to say, it is within the Pacific region that the great historical events of the next hundred years will take place. The greater becomes the concern of Europe with the conflicts in the Pacific, the more fateful are the two fundamental misconceptions which, from the European point of view, are entertained about the Pacific area. The first is seen in the tendency to consider political events in the Pacific as isolated events which are said to have no direct connection with the political development in Europe. Only during the last twenty years has Europe begun to realize that the events in the Pacific region are decisive for the destinies of the West. This realization comes, however, more by instinct as a result of the tremendous experiences of the last twenty-five years than from a sociological and political comprehension of the interconnection of historical events. The "man in the street" in Europe is still very far from being aware of the fact that during the last six hundred years there has been scarcely any development of general importance in the sphere of Western politics which has not been directly or indirectly connected with contemporary events in the Pacific world. No world policy in the general sense of the term is possible unless the continuous action and reaction of events in the West and in the Pacific upon each other is fully recognized, and such recognition becomes a definite element in policy.
The second misconception is seen in the prevailing tendency in Europe to view political events in the Pacific solely from the angle of the recurrent sharpening of the conflicts between the various Pacific Powers, as though these conflicts, e.g. that between the United States and Japan, or between Japan and Russia, were not the result of a general development which is