Following is the first of
a new series of articles from Mr. Gareth Jones, who has been captured by
Chinese bandits. (March 1935)
When I was in Japan I could hear the rumblings of the battle in Britain
between those who, condemning Japan violently, advocate an understanding
with the United States and those who believe in close relations with
are in Britain the two main schools about Japan. In the first there is Mr.
Lloyd George, who has protested vigorously against Japan “devouring
large chunks of China”; there is Gen. Smuts, whose speech on November 12
last year in London had resounding effects throughout the world, and
almost forced the British Government into closer contact with America;
there are Lord Lytton, Lord Lothian, and Lord Cecil with the support of
the League of Nations Union. This
is a formidable array at statesmen and thinkers lined up in favour of an
second school is more military and conservative. It believes in the
principles of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which terminated at the Washington
Conference in 1922. It is full of admiration for the courage and the other
military virtues of the Japanese. It views with sympathy Japan’s efforts
to restore order in Manchukuo and it regards any Japanese victory as a
blow against Communism.
do the British people on the spot think of these antagonistic points of
view? In Tokyo and in Kobe I
went to see some of our leading fellow-countrymen and discussed with
them the speeches of Mr. Lloyd George and of General Smuts and the views
of the League of Nations Union. I
am not allowed to reveal the names of those with whom I talked, but the
three conversations given below are representative of the most
informed British opinion in Japan.
X (what an air of mystery such a description gives!) declared: “The
speeches of General Smuts, Mr. Lloyd George and the articles of Lord
Lothian do a tremendous amount of harm to Great Britain and to the world.
It is dangerous for us to talk of an Anglo-American alliance,
because that antagonises
- it makes her more nationalistic, it increases her fear, it leads to her
making a spurt in building up armaments, in strengthening her navy, and
in trying to double her air force.
Lloyd George, Gen. Smuts, and Lord Lothian have never been, I believe, to
the Far East. They do not know the Far East mentality. They little realise
what effect their words have on a sensitive nation like Japan by
increasing its phobias and it’s feeling of isolation. You cannot
intimidate the Japanese into peace by threatening an Anglo-American
alliance. You must work with the Japanese, cajole them, and discuss
everything with them,”
To Our Trade
like those of Gen. Smuts and Mr. Lloyd George have meant great losses to
British trade. I know of big
orders, which have not been made because of the belief among the Japanese
that Britain is antagonistic to them. Neither do I agree with those who shout for a close alliance with
Japan at the expense of America. We must steer between the two policies
and others and thus, without antagonizing America, maintain good relations
There has been a real improvement in relations between Japan and Britain
in spite of General Smuts and Mr. Lloyd a George. This is due to the visit last year of the Economic Mission, which
was important because for long the Japanese have considered themselves
insulted by the British. They
think that they were badly treated when the British denounced the
Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1922, when the British sent battleships to
Shanghai in 1927 without consulting the Japanese, when she sent in 1930 a
mission of second-rate business men who knew nothing about Japan and made
a bad impression, and when she opposed the Japanese entry into Manchukuo.
The Economic Mission has reverse these grievances however, and done a
great deal of good.
must realise also that the Japanese are going show that they desire
peace that they want to co-operate sincerely with China and with Soviet
Russia. There has been an
amazing change from hatred to friendship with the Soviet Union. An era of co-operation is beginning in the Pacific, and it must not
be marred by anti-Japanese talk in. England.”
Other Point of View
is what Mr. X said. My friend
Mr. Y had a completely opposite point of view. He applauded Mr Lloyd George’s utterances, he said: “The L.G.
Is quite right. The Japanese are aiming at the domination of North China.
They are going to make the Emperor Kang Te (Pu Yi) rule over
a great Manchurian empire, which will control in, Japan’s interest, the
vast area north of the Yangtze.
Shantung. In that province
the Japanese will, by bribery and other methods create a bogus
independence movement. They
will pay some Chinese politicians or generals to raise the banners with
the cry: “We want to be ruled by the Emperor Kang Te. We want to belong to the Manchu Empire!”
The Japanese will control Peking and they will extend
their domination all over China.
do not mean to say that they will send troops all over China. That is a physical impossibility but they will seize some of the
ports and they will be able to threaten South China from Formosa. They will obtain possession of coastal places like Amoy.
co-operation between Britain and America can stop moves like that. I
applaud Mr. Lloyd George for trying to put a stop to Japan’s ravenous
me repeat a third conversation - representative of the opinion of most
British people in Japan: “Talk of a British alliance with, America is
nonsense. The Americans will never dream of an alliance. Don’t they
always repeat the parrot-cry of ‘No
entangling alliances,’ which Washington is supposed to have said?”
can never rely upon Americans. They
are shot through and through with a passion for isolation. They are at last realising that they really have no great
interests in the Far East and that their investments are only one-sixth of
the British investments in China. America is withdrawing from Asia and entering into her own shell.
They refuse to join the World Court: they never wished to join the
League of Nations and the rest of the globe is an anathema to them. We could never have faith in the United States especially since
they are abandoning the Philippines. They would never be willing to help us to defend Hong Kong or
Shanghai. Hence our only alternative is a close
understanding with Japan.
is the rights point of view? I shall not make up my mind until
been through the Far East visited China and Manchukuo and returned for
second visit to Japan.