REVIEW of REVIEWS

Is Japan on Verge of Revolution

Bolshevist Doctrines, Fostered by Lenin, Are Spreading in the Land of the Mikado

May 15 1920
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Is Japan on Verge of Revolution

Bolshevist Doctrines, Fostered by Lenin, Are Spreading in the Land of the Mikado

May 15 1920

Is Japan on Verge of Revolution

Bolshevist Doctrines, Fostered by Lenin, Are Spreading in the Land of the Mikado

HAT Japan is on the verge of revolution as a result of the propaganda of the Russian Bolshevists is an idea that is gaining ground in well-informed circles in Europe. Current Opinion sums up the information available on the subject as follows:

In the weeks that have elapsed since the dissolution of the Japanese lower house there has been a tendency at Tokyo to emit despatches of an optimistic nature regarding the political situation. The date assigned for the general election was changed after having been tentatively fixed and no newspaper in Western Europe seems able to ascertain when the contest at the polls will be concluded. How the strikes in the industrial centres progress, or what measures have been taken against the proletarian revolutionaries who have been active since the triumphs of the Soviet Governmentin the far East, are other matters involved in mystery. There is to the Western journalist mind every evidence that the press is severely censored, and this confirms the impression of the London Telegraph that the “unrest” in Japan has attained proportions that bring revolution itself within measurable distance. The British paper is inclined to think that for the next year, at least, Japan will play no such conspicuous part in world politics as her Katos and her Gotos have suggested. The check administered by Bolshevik victories in Siberia to Japanese policy is conceded at Tokyo itself by Prime Minister Hara. It would be too much to infer, says the Frankfurter Zeitung—which like all German dailies follows this situation closely—that Japan _ will now have to modify her attitude in China; but there have been important withdrawals of her troops from the trans-Siberian line. The Jiji and other Tokyo organs intimate that the ministry is reconsidering its whole policy on the Asiatic mainland. There are negotiations on foot with the Bolshevik Government.

! Proletarians in Japan have been affected by the propaganda with which the whole I far East is now humming, and this propaganda is traced by the Berlin Kreuz Zeitung to the activities of Bolshevik j agents. It has become a recognized feature of Lenin’s policy to include j Japanese among the students of revolu: tionary Socialism who are affiliated with I his “third international.” One of these youths, said to belong to an ancient and j renowned cljin, left Moscow last year on his way home, halting for a time in China I where he took part in the strife between North and South. The revolutionary Japanese press is issued at Moscow I under the auspices of the Bolsheviki ! and is then smuggled to the far East i for circulation among Japanese troops in Siberia as well as among the workers ! in the Japanese mills. Branches of the revolutionary Socialist party exist in i all the centres of Japanese population. Political meetings are organized not to promote the action of a constitutional party at the polls but for the destruction of property and the seizure of power. Soldiers put down a strike of miners. A soviet was discovered flourishing among the mill-workers and match-dippers of Hyogo and Kobe. There was an abortive effort at a revolt among the workers in the handicrafts at Kyoto. Here and elsewhere the propaganda of Bolshevism was established. Sabotage was a feature of the great dockyard strike at Kawasaki.

Some eighteen months have elapsed since the formation of the first Bolshevik conspiracy against the dynasty in Japan and, in the light of what the London Timex has said, the defeat of Koltchak and the creation of a new situation in Siberia have combined to make the position of the Japanese clans and the new “war bourgeoisie” increasingly difficult at home. As long as the forces of Japan were strong on the Asiatic mainland, these Bolshevist 1 conspiracies could be nipped in the bud. i There were disaffections of Japanese \ troops in Asia of which the world has j heard little. The suppression of these I mutinies with every circumstance of I severity by Terauchi’s Government left an inheritance of insubordination with which

Hara was not always able to deal. For over a year past the discipline of Japanese troops in the Asiatic theatre has not been all that it was in the old days of the war with Russia, adds the Kreuz Zeitung. Japanese troops got more and more out of hand. Complaints were made by the Americans and the British when these Dreaches of discipline became gross—but it was soon apparent that the commanders were not able to deal so summarily with Japanese in the ranks. There was a new spirit altogether. Great care has been taken at Tokyo to ignore and conceal the facts in these affairs.

The strife between North and South in China, which has filled the Oriental world with its gospel of revolt, seems to the London News to have spread a spirit of emancipation among the masses in Japan. Here, again, the ' Bolsheviki were astute. The coolies imported in such large numbers by the Government of the Czar were of great use to Lenin when he set up his soviets. Some of these Chinese proved amenable to the propaganda in which the Bolsheviki excel. They were converted in some instances to the cause of the proletariat and subsequently returned to China, where they made excellent teachers of Bolshevism. One cannot look very deeply into the causes underlying the unrest in China without finding the very cause at work that gives so much trouble to the clans in Japan. Bolshevist doctrines are imbibed by Japanese on the Asiatic mainland. The Chinese have exploited their peculiar genius for the establishment of secret societies in doing the work _ of Lenin. The spirit thus created spread with such dire results that the Tokyo Government has grown suspicious of Japanese laborers who come back to their own country from regions known to be saturated with the gospel of Bolshevism. The ferment in China is one reason for the anxiety of the Japanese clansmen to get a hold upon that country.

If there had not existed a discontented and submerged Japan, says the Kölnische Zeitung, it would have been impossible for the Lenin Government to bring it to its present stage of revolutionary energy. The outside world has been allowed to know only that “modem” Japan upon the Prussian model which is so peculiarly the creation of the Itos and the elder statesmen. It is a Japan which to a great extent had no more reality than the “progressive” Mexico of Porfirio Diaz, a Japan extolled by organs of British imperialism, celebrated by official banqueters, represented by well - groomed aristocrats at the courts of the old-world potentates. The Gotos and the Makinos and the Uchidas stand for a Japan that seems a trifle out of date to the German daily. The “new” Japan is still to be properly differentiated from the “modern” Japan, the new Japan which stands defiantly before the millionaires and the clans and refuses to listen to any teacher who does not use the lingo of revolution. Soviet Russia has had the keenness of vision to direct this unknown Japan and, because a spirit of revolt pervades it, the Hara ministry was a failure. The effort to exploit the fall of the Czar was a failure. The imperialism of Goto is a failure. “Modem” Japan will be lucky, says the Cologne organ, if it does not go down in fire and blood, but how can it escape if Lenin keeps up his propaganda? He knows the Oriental world better than it is known by any Western statesman and alone among the powers, adds this commentator, Soviet Russia has evolved a winning policy in Asia. Our contemporary concludes with the prediction that whatever Government may stay on in Tokyo will yet have to throw the Western world over and come to terms with the “men in Moscow.” The alternative is the overthrow of the Japanese dynasty, of the clans, of the elder statesmen and the whole “modernization.”

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