14 FEBRUARY 1941, Page 2

Japan's Aggressive Diplomacy

It is obviously to Germany's interest that Japan should be preparing a diversion in the Far East at the time when Germany herself is planning a great stroke against Britain, but Japan, of course, hopes to gain as much as her European partner by exploiting the moment when she believes Britain's hands are tied in the Far East. At present she is making preliminary moves in the fields of diplomacy. She has been posing as a mediator between Thailand and French Indo-China, and Mr. Matsuoka opened the peace conference et Tokyo last Friday with much ceremony, and declared once again the " Greater East Asia " policy of japan. A glance' at the map will show how important the warring countries are in relation to any designs she may have upon Singapore and the Dutch East Indies and the south of them. She has been increasing her pressure upon the Dutch East Indies, demanding special facilities for colonists, the right to work undeveloped areas, and a connexion between the Indies and Japan by air. The Dutch have replied that their policy is that of the open door, and they cannot grant exclusive privileges to the Japanese. The fact that Japan is still engaged in an unsuccessful war with China seems to be for her only one added reason why she should engage in another war in which, thanks to Germany, she hopes for greater success. But in that sphere she has the United States to reckon with as well as Great Britain. America, too, has vital interests in the Eastern sea. But the jingo elements appear to be in the ascendant at Tokyo—as they were in Rome when Italy declared war.