12 JANUARY 1940, Page 2

Japan's Peace Efforts

The efforts of the Japanese to bolster up a Central Government in China with which they can make peace have now reached the point where " peace " conditions have been agreed upon. The Japanese Government, beset by domestic as well as military difficulties, want to make peace and at the same time to get what profit they can from the long war. For their purposes it is essential that Mr. Wang Ching-wei, representing China, should appear to be a free agent, and it is necessary that he should really have some freedom if his negotiations are to carry any conviction in China. Mr. Wang Ching-wei, knowing the necessities of the Japanese Govern- ment, has evidently been trying to drive a bargain which will have some substance in it from the Chinese point of view. China's sovereignty, it is alleged, is to be respected, and Japan will not seek indemnities or territory, but she will require " special facilities " for developing China's resources, the posting.of Japanese garrisons at certain points, and a joint front against Communism. Outwardly such terms present a family resemblance to those extracted by the Soviet Govern- ment from Estonia, but the most is made of the fact that Mr. Wang Ching-wei has secured specific undertakings in regard to the withdrawal of Japanese forces and the restora- tion of properties. But if the agreement goes through and Mr. Wang Ching-wei is installed in power, there still remain General Chiang Kai-shek and his Government and Army. Meantime the Japanese Government conducting these nego- tiations has to face an indignant Parliament whose members, strengthened in opposition by the growing discontent of the people, are strongly criticising both Government and Army.