THE Japanese people feel cold. They shiver in the unaccustomed atmosphere of democratic institutions and individualistic ways of thought. They long for the warm surroundings of familiar traditional values, the old ideas they used to share in common. And when the Japanese feel a need for giving rein to sentimentality and patriotism they have only their Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to turn to.

During the first two days of January 1955, almost 3,500,000 people visited the Meiji shrine in Tokyo. What is more, this sanctum, dedicated to the memory of the great Emperor Meiji (1868-1912), hardly exists since it was destroyed by incendiary bombs in 1945, and there is only a small temporary wooden structure where it used to be. But that does not bother the Japanese; what counts is the genius loci. Other popular sanctuaries, Shinto and Buddhist, also reported record figures of visitors, ranging from 300,000 to 500,000, at the turn of the year. For instance, nearly 400,000 people insisted on visiting the inconveniently located great shrines of Ise dedicated to the sun goddess, the ancestress of the Imperial house. It is indeed surprising that after years of defamation by the occupation authorities these places are now being visited by more people than ever before--more than during the nationalistic and militaristic epoch when visits to such sanctuaries were practically a part of civic duty. Today citizens come of their own accord. Even Prime Minister Hatoyama, a Christian, bowed before the Ise shrines on New Year's Day. Nor was that all; Mosaburo Suzuki, head of the Moscow-conditioned Leftist Socialists, came to pay his respects to the Emperor's celestial ancestor, doubtless for propaganda reasons in view of the elections.

More unpleasant than the conservative tendency expressed in the mass pilgrimage to shrines and temples is the reappearance of ultra-nationalistic and distinctly reactionary trends. Dozens of radical Rightist organizations, most of them known and held in bad repute from prewar days, have been reëstablished since 1952. They justify themselves to the public mainly by their combative attitude toward Communism, and for the rest, unfortunately find enough reason to attack the deterioration of morals in present-day Japan. The direct following of these organizations and associations has never been very large, nor is it today. It should not be forgotten, however, that assassinations and rebellions by ultra-nationalists have had a most important influence on recent Japanese history. Four Japanese Premiers and ten other prominent figures have been assassinated within the last 25 years.

Up to the present, the Japanese people, or at any rate the majority of them, has never been the determining factor in politics. The elements that made policy were the relatively small and for the most part anonymous groups in power, as well as the activist shock troops of the radical Rightists. It is interesting that the extreme Left, namely the Communists, who also are a minority, occasionally use intimidation but not methodical assassination or mass assassination as practised by the extreme Right. One reason is that the organization and strategy of the ultra-nationalists is based on feudalist traditions, which, of course, is not the case with the Communists, at least not in principle. Another is that the Japanese people have understood and to some extent tolerated nationalistic acts of violence, but not Communist ones. The noisy scenes staged by Leftist extremists in recent years have been regarded with disgust. Unlike the Nipponists, Communists have no manners. Nipponists put on ceremonial clothes for the great event, make their prayers and then shoot.

While small groups are more decisive in Japan than perhaps anywhere else, the people as a whole generally are only spectators. In February 1936, when army and navy units fought a battle with thundering cannon right in the center of Tokyo, the people, including the so-called intelligentsia and people in business, watched the drama the way a movie audience might, as though the outcome did not in the least affect the fate of Japan. It was not much different during the dispute between Yoshida and Hatoyama last autumn. The anti-Yoshida atmosphere was marked, but the people watched the political battle at a distance; except for the politicians involved, nobody entered into fervent arguments, nobody heatedly took sides. Politics are the business of the government and the politicians; the good citizen cautiously sticks to his job.

Nevertheless, in the Japan which I am describing, where Rightist tendencies are strong, a strike took place last year which the Left claims will be known as a decisive point in the history of the Japanese labor movement. This was the strike of the 4,000 workers of the Japanese Steel Works in Muroran (Hokkaido) which lasted six and a half months. They were fighting against the dismissal of 900 of their colleagues. Due to the economic depression the employers could not give in; nevertheless the strike continued, encouraged by Minoru Takano, the Communist secretary general of the Sohyo, Japan's largest trade union with over 3,000,000 members. At the end of December a compromise was reached and 100 of the dismissed workers were reëmployed. For this meagre result the workers' families, some 10,000 people in all, starved and suffered for more than six months, yet Takano regarded it as a victory. "From all over Japan," he said, "offers of money, bags of rice and donations poured in for the strikers. The farmers of Hokkaido donated vegetables and the doctors of Muroran treated the sick workers without charge. Actually, it was a whole city on strike, a wonderful example of community spirit and mutual assistance. Never has there been such a strike in the whole world. It could happen only in Japan." Takano, whose chief aim is to infect the trade unions with Communist ideas, adds: "We are firmly against American-style democracy. What we need is unity and community."

Unity and community! You hear it from the Left and also from the Right. But, of course, what the Conservatives mean by "community" is different from what the Leftists mean. For the one it is a traditional, old, organic idea, for the other a rational Marxist one. The Conservatives are thinking of the Confucian family system, of patriarchal ties of various kinds and of the community of the children of Nippon under the father of the nation, the Emperor. The Leftists are thinking of the Soviet system or of a milder centralized Socialist order. But both have a tendency toward collectivism and away from the individualism which is the basis of personal and political freedom and genuine democracy.

Of course there also are advocates of freedom and democracy in Japan but their number and the response they arouse is rather small. Generally speaking, they include the Japanese Christians (about half a million in a population of 88,000,000), as well as part of the youth in the big cities, part of the women and some of the intellectuals. Politically speaking, the Rightist Socialists may be described as genuine democrats; they held 62 of the approximately 450 seats in the last House of Representatives. The Leftist Socialists have brought suspicion on themselves by their close ties to the Sohyo and their partiality to Red China. There are democrats also among the Conservatives, particularly the younger ones, but almost the entire leadership belongs to the older generation (with an average age in the Hatoyama cabinet, for instance, of 63), who prefer to rely upon familiar and proved methods and show little inclination for promoting the idea of democracy with any fresh initiative. How, for instance, could the Minister of Education, Ando, who is 78 years old, be expected to pioneer for the democratization of the Japanese youth?

The attempts to democratize Japan have been described frequently, so that it will be sufficient to stress only a few examples to give the flavor of the situation today. In the beginning, the majority of the people welcomed the reforms introduced by the Americans as representing the dawn of a new era. This feeling was mainly a reaction against the police state of the militarists and the miseries of the war. How is it possible, then, that only a few years later an anti-democratic atmosphere should prevail, with anti-Americanism as one of the ingredients?

For one thing, Japan made the acquaintance of democracy in an absurd and paradoxical way--by order of a foreign occupying Power. By its very nature a military occupation can never be democratic. Thus freedom of the press was ordered, yet criticism of even the minor measures of the American headquarters was forbidden. The administration was supposed to lie in the hands of the Japanese Government, but the ministers spent many hours in the military offices receiving advice and instructions, and the Japanese Diet would never have dared turn down a law ordered by General MacArthur. As a result, the supposedly democratic nature of the régime was never taken seriously and Japanese politicians lost their sense of responsibility. How were Japanese representatives, who had never been used to taking much initiative in any case, to acquire a new independent and active spirit under such circumstances? The Japanese Diet has initiated very few of the laws passed since 1947, when the new constitution came into effect. Almost all the laws came from the occupation authority and, after 1951, from the Japanese Government, as had always been the case in the old days.

It was their respect for power which made the Japanese turn to the victor, that is to General MacArthur, to satisfy their loyalty needs in 1945. To a certain extent MacArthur had replaced Tojo. Yet they did it with more than just instinctive respect for their feudalistic tradition; they did it also because they thought it wiser. It was better to give in. The idea was similar to the principle of Judo whereby the weaker suddenly throws himself backward, causing the attacker to fall over him onto the ground. One had to flatter the victor, praise his laws, do one's best to display a freedom-loving and Christian attitude.

Furthermore it was considered a good idea to get to know the Americans and their methods since these had proved superior to Japanese methods. The Japanese have always copied everything whenever they considered it useful from a national point of view. But when it became apparent that many of the American innovations were not exactly suited to Japan the spirit of criticism appeared. It did not show itself clearly at first as opposition but as a kind of passive resistance. Many of the new laws and regulations remained on paper; violations of them--for instance, by employers who disregarded the labor legislation, by parents who sold their daughters for prostitution, by election grafters who became frequent in the impoverished postwar years--remained unpunished or were punished only mildly. In the shelter of the new legislation, held over them like an umbrella by the occupying Power, the Japanese began to settle down cozily into their old ways. Loud criticism was not heard until later, in fact not until 1952.

But Japanese respect for power and Japanese hypocrisy were not the only reasons why criticism was dormant for so long; the censorship imposed by the occupation authorities was also a factor. To take one example, until 1952 it was forbidden to publish pictures of the effects of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all that could be found were seized. At the risk of being jailed and severely punished, many Japanese, especially journalists, nevertheless hid and kept such photographs, and their publication in 1952 made a tremendous impression not only in Japan but also abroad. The terrible pictures of defacements, burns and mutilations, of disfigured young girls and slowly dying children, planted horror in the hearts of the Japanese. Without recognizing these facts the Japanese reaction to the Bikini incident cannot be understood. It was not "hysteria" but very human excitement and fear. Only insensate blocks of granite would have reacted in any other way. From a political and psychological point of view it would probably have been better if most of the bomb photographs had been released at once, when war-weary Japan did not wish to see or hear anything concerned with the war, when she had not yet forgotten her own atrocities and when a marked anti-American feeling had not yet developed. But even if the press policy had been more skillful the fact would still remain that the Japanese are so far the only nation in the world that has been subjected to A- and H-bombs, and in the case of the latter in time of peace. Would we react differently under the same circumstances?

Quite apart from the pseudo-democratic character of the Japanese régime during the occupation, one sees that there were disadvantages in transplanting various institutions from the giant American continent to the small and overpopulated Japanese islands. The occupation authorities kept almost exclusively to the American pattern, disregarding European and other democratic institutions. Thus impoverished Japan was given a decentralized and costlier administration in place of her former centralized one. As former Japanese governments were fully aware, the distinct regional mentality of Japan makes a central administration the most effective balance to persistent feudalistic ties and local interests. When small districts were allowed to control their own police forces, the result often was that due to lack of financial means they were not even capable of employing a policeman. Furthermore, coöperation among local police detachments left much to be desired and crime went undetected. Certainly one of the most important measures after Japan again became independent was the recentralization of the police, if only in order to conduct an efficient fight against Communist subversion. Lately there has been criticism of the number of regional and municipal bodies, the members of which all draw salaries, and it has been suggested that their number should be reduced, especially as they are often corrupt.

As a result of the severe dislocation caused by the introduction of democratic methods education is practically in a state of chaos. By an American-inspired innovation, children now spend two years more at school than they used to but they learn less. There are no national schoolbooks and almost every school can choose its own teaching equipment (though it has to be approved by the Ministry of Education). The teachers' union is so infected with Communism that some elementary schoolteachers consider Communist propaganda more important than their teaching, even though political activity on the school premises is forbidden. There are schools where the national imperial hymn is sung every morning and schools where ultra-nationalistic orators are admitted. There are schools where Karl Marx's "Capital" is used in teaching foreign languages and others that prefer American authors. There are teachers who tell their pupils that they do not have to obey their parents and others who teach the children once again to bow deeply to their parents and other respected persons. There are colleges where fencing with wooden swords has long come back into fashion but there are also ones where teachers try by every method to prevent the pupils from joining the Japanese self-defense units. So far the Ministry of Education, the authority of which has been much reduced, has not been able to bring order into this confusion. However, the present general rather conservative tendency may result in more disciplinary action being taken in the future.

All this has not touched upon the main reason for the failure of democracy in Japan, namely the fact that the Japanese finds it difficult to consider himself an individual and to act as such. In spite of Western inspirations dating back decades, Japanese traditions and particularly Japanese education remain governed essentially by the spirit of collective rather than personal responsibility. The head of the Japanese family, for instance, makes no decision without having consulted its members. "Leaders" in the Nazi sense of the word have always been rare in Japan. On the contrary, what predominates is the group whose head, just like the head of the family, takes decisions only after careful and often extremely lengthy consultations. In actual fact, Tojo was not a "leader" so much as the representative of a group. Down to the present, the Japanese have always been brought up in a spirit of collectivism, duty and sacrifice. The trend was reinforced after the Manchuria incident in 1931-32 and in the end was abused by the military.

After the war, freedom of the individual was preached to this people. They were given a new constitution which proclaimed among other things that everyone has the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"--a thesis, incidentally, which even a European may find irritating. In Japan it meant a total revaluation of ethical terms. The emphasis on personal concerns that had hitherto been a weakness was now proclaimed a virtue. Well, was the response, if I am encouraged to look after my own interests and pursue happiness it obviously is right and proper to think of nothing but to pile up a fortune for myself as quickly as possible. "Live fully and as you please" soon became the motto among wide sections of the people. To the Japanese, individualism and liberalism are not much more than egotism and concentration on selfish interest.

The devaluation of domestic ethical traditions and the one-sided and wrong interpretation of Western ideals resulted in a deterioration of morals and general degradation. The unpleasant symptoms evident in Japan today are mainly the result of a chaotic state of mind and only in the second place of economic misery and poverty. During the war when food, clothing and all consumer goods were hardly obtainable there was relatively little criminality. It was only after half of Tokyo had been burned down and many people were entirely destitute that it became necessary to lock doors during the day as well as at night. Today stealing goes on as never before and in the year 1954 this country of formerly honest and well-behaved citizens recorded about 3,000 murder cases. The great scandals which occurred during the Yoshida régime must have made the deterioration of public morals known to the entire world. The same conditions also prevail, of course, in the lower echelons of the administration. Formerly Japanese civil servants were slightly supercilious and bureaucratic but on the whole honest and industrious. Today many officials themselves complain about the lack of a sense of duty.

Japan has at least twice as many places of amusement today as before the war. There are amusements of every kind--ancient Japanese, modern Japanese influenced by the West, and purely Western. Everything is allowed and nothing forbidden. There used to be accepted rules and a traditional order in this field (the geisha system, for instance) but the "democratic evolution" brought confusion here also. Today the once-dignified capital of Tokyo sometimes recalls disreputable Shanghai and other ports.

At this point there must be a short passage about the relationship between American soldiers and Japanese women and the problems thereby created. Wherever foreign troops are stationed problems of this sort arise, but they have to be taken more seriously in Japan than elsewhere. The main difficulty lies in the impact of two different cultures. I shall not go into how money-hungry Japanese fasten their places of ill repute and gambling dens like glue to the army camps, or the indifference of the Japanese police, but turn straight to the main problem.

It starts with the fact that the Japanese consider our "natural" behavior barbaric and uncivilized. To most of them we seem repulsive because we have "neither self-discipline nor manners." Even today, for instance, they feel embarrassed when foreigners kiss in public when saying goodbye, even in the case of a mother and child or husband and wife. They find it disagreeable to be patted on the back or to see a man take a woman's arm with even the most polite intentions. All of this offends the Japanese sense of dignity and reserve. Granted that things have somewhat changed since the war, the general attitude remains the same, as those who understand the Japanese language have frequent cause to know. Particularly everything connected with sexual emotions is strictly taboo in public. Young soldiers are naïve and thoughtless and do not know why their Japanese girl friends (provided they are not degraded Pan-Pan girls) stiffen if they show even the least familiarity in a movie theater or a railroad compartment.

This leads to a further difference between Japanese ways and ours. In Japan some things are officially permitted which according to our Christian code of morals are actually forbidden. Thus the Japanese had no trouble "organizing" life, dividing it into family life and amusement and drawing a sharp line between the two. The result is that in principle a Japanese would never address a woman in the street unless it were evident (which it would be from her clothes) that she belonged to a class which may be talked to. Until now a so-called respectable woman--whether foreign or Japanese--could go home at night without being bothered, which is not always the case in European countries. Foreigners in Japan have never kept strictly to this old Japanese rule and when the occupation brought them there by thousands it was continually broken. The Japanese have long grown accustomed to the behavior of "uncivilized" foreigners, but it irritates them. Here is a fundamental difference in viewpoint that basically affects the relationship between American army personnel and Japanese women--a relationship frequently attacked and exploited by anti-American propaganda.

Within the frame of the Japanese mania for amusement gambling plays an important part. The police claim that today every seventh Japanese is a gambler. The game in which millions indulge is called pachinko. Originally it required skill, but then the slot machines appeared and turned it into a game of pure chance. Today Japan has 40,000 pachinko halls with two million slot machines, and these halls are said to make over $35,000,000 per month, more, that is, than all the large department stores of the country together. Family rows, bankruptcy, even crime and suicide can be traced back to pachinko. It is reported that the city of Tokyo plans to prohibit slot machines and there is hope that the prefectures will then follow suit.

It is significant for conditions in Japan that the city has to intervene in this problem. The public hardly ever starts a campaign for or against something, even though one would suppose that the local papers with their millions of circulation or other organizations would be capable of doing so. It is always the state that has to intervene like a nursemaid. Lack of public spirit is also to some extent responsible for this shying away from any sort of personal initiative. If a window is open in a railroad compartment and all the passengers are freezing no Japanese as a rule will bring himself to close it, for that is the business of the conductor. If street lights are out of order or a bridge has been dangerously damaged nobody reports it to the authorities; one waits patiently till they notice it of their own accord. During the war people suffocated in the overcrowded Tokyo subway because nobody opened the window and near Shanghai a steamer sank with women and children because the women did not dare to enter the lifeboats or to jump into the water without instructions from the captain.

If many Japanese carry their last cent to pachinko halls and other places of entertainment the reason actually is not a desire for enjoyment but a mania for distraction which derives less from a joy of living than from desperation. The Japanese are at a loss; they feel a compulsion to escape from themselves and from the toughness of life. Young people in particular no longer have any goal or ideal and do not know why and for what purpose they are on earth. They stand before an abyss; the old system has been shaken and the new one is neither understood nor loved. Mere money-chasing leaves the people unsatisfied, not only because the chase is difficult and often unsuccessful but also because the Japanese are essentially a spiritual people. They are quite capable of tightening their belts--much tighter than today--and of being quite satisfied in spite of it, but their will to work and their sacrifices require a sense of purpose and they cannot see such a purpose today. The psychological tension is just as strong in present-day Japan as the economic and social tensions, and perhaps even more important.

Japan is the only Asian country without illiteracy. Reading is a mania. More than 75 percent of Japanese households own a radio. Television is widespread. The progressiveness of the country makes it inevitable that the Japanese are bothered by largely the same problems that worry us. The wearying rush of life in the big cities, the endless daily commuting to places of work, the smoking industrial centers, the crazy motor traffic, the croaking loud-speakers--it is the same here as it is in Europe or America. However, apart from those universal problems of the technical age Japan has her own specifically Japanese problems connected with the general controversy between the traditions of East Asia and the Western World. One of these is the thrust of Christian missionary zeal against a philosophy which is fundamentally conditioned to Buddhism--the clash of a rationally minded Western philosophy with a way of thinking that is universalistic and mystical--the conflict between faith in individualism and a form of society that is organic and collectivist. The resulting psychological confusion is particularly variegated and striking.

A young Japanese girl from Kyoto, the only large city in Japan not destroyed in the war, once said, "What a pity that Kyoto was not bombed too!" She had suffered from the traditional atmosphere of the old imperial city and claimed that in Tokyo total destruction had brought a fresher spirit. One often hears remarks of a similar nature. A 16-year-old boy, somewhat crazy, also from Kyoto, gave expression to his feelings two or three years ago by setting fire to the "Golden Pavilion," one of the beautiful old buildings of the city. He told the police that such buildings were not the expression of present-day Japan and he had not been able to endure any longer having such things stared at by sightseeing tourists. Though only a single deed of a crazy mind, it is a symbol of the desperation of many young Japanese, the reason for the large number of suicides among young people.

Their spiritual uprooting combined with their poverty make Japanese youth cast a flirting eye toward Peking. Many students are undernourished and many have to make a prodigious effort to find extra work, for unemployment is on the increase. Some earn money by repeated blood donations, which ruin their health. In the opinion of the students (and, of course, not only of the students) everything is considerably better in Red China, for there they have leadership and social security. "Is it true that they have no unemployment in China?" asks the maid who makes your bed. "Is it true that the Chinese students don't have to earn money?" asks the student who cleans a pachinko slot machine. Disillusioning replies are received skeptically. Moreover, the Japanese who once overran China are deeply impressed by the fact that she has been able to regain her strength within such a short period and that she now is "truly independent."

China's lack of personal freedom and her compulsory collectivist economy rouse not the slightest horror in the minds of many Japanese, including particularly a great number of students and academic personnel, both university professors and teachers in elementary schools, as well as a part of the workers. These seem to agree with everything in China so long as the Chinese people obtain "leadership and social security." Communism began to develop in Japan after the First World War, but today the danger is much greater. The social uprooting was much less drastic then, there was no attraction from a strong Communist China and there was none of the anti-American feeling which at present helps swing the pendulum away from the West. Besides, economic misery and the pressure of overpopulation are worse today than ever. China has shown us that the departure from collectivist and patriarchal ties and other Confucian ideas (which also were strong in Japan) does not necessarily lead toward emancipation of the individual and Western style of political organization but may as easily swing over into a Marxist collective system. In principle this might also be the case in Japan, though for a variety of reasons it seems unlikely.

The Japanese people which has shown so little aptitude for democratization seems likely for the time being not to take the road to the Left but the one to the Right. The millions that flock to the holy shrines make a more convincing impression than the strike of the 4,000 workers of Muroran and the pinkish students who make fun of the Emperor. The roots of home are still proving to be stronger than Communist ideas from abroad. In this connection the fact that the conservative peasant population is a majority is of decisive importance. Taking the road to the Right will very likely involve modifying a number of the laws passed in recent years, and it probably will also mean strengthening the authority of the state. Some observers even consider it possible that state Socialist tendencies (called "military Socialist" in the past) may become stronger--trends which can be placed on neither the Right nor the Left but form a mixture of both extremes. Colonel Masanobu Tsuji, a demagogic talent who for the moment acts behind the scenes, represents such tendencies.

Responsibility for the fact that democracy has not "taken" in Japan should not be laid at the door of just the small number of convinced democrats who have been working for it. Little is being done in this respect in the field of education. The school laws were changed in letter but not in spirit. A foreigner who has never visited a Japanese school or college will find it difficult to imagine how different Japanese education is from ours. There is no emphasis on training minds to think freely and independently; on the contrary, the pupils repeat everything like parrots. It is not customary, it is even taboo, for pupils to ask questions. Foreign professors have trouble in bringing even adult university students to ask questions and discuss intellectual problems freely. To them discussion means contradiction and criticism, and criticism of the "master," that is, the teacher or university professor, is still looked upon as really sacrilege. It is significant that the teachers at the new International Christian University at Tokyo (opened in 1953) are half foreigners and half Japanese. Very likely this was agreed upon not only to stress the university's cosmopolitan character but also because the Japanese as a rule hold to their old attitude even when they are Christians.

Moreover, the liberalization and democratization of Japan were attempted in an epoch which, viewed historically, seems unfavorable to the propagation of such concepts. The roots of our Western ideas are more than 2,000 years old, yet our ideals of freedom in their present form became valid only when we made room for them by conquering the world. It was easy for our ancestors who emigrated to America and found a giant continent open before them to extol freedom and equality. But their maxims sound differently on our present overcrowded earth, where even the old democracies voluntarily subject themselves to restrictions which would not have been necessary in the time of our parents. One large part of the world is already forcibly organized on a collectivist pattern and the other part is beginning to stress collaboration and collectivism both at home and in dealing with other nations. Psychologically it is a difficult moment for the Japanese to learn about our ideals and understand them. (The Japanese press, for instance, is quick to denounce the fight against Communists and related actions in the United States as undemocratic.) The tender and noble flower of freedom needs a favorable soil if it is to live and grow robust despite the voluntary and reasonable restrictions put upon it.

Present-day Japan must be reckoned a democracy because the people have a vote and because on the whole their will finds expression in the result. It should be kept in mind, however, that the elections are determined plutocratically since they turn to a very large extent indeed upon where big business places its donations. Secondly, they are manipulated to some extent. Finally, they are influenced greatly by the loyalty principle. Complaints about the "feudal" methods of the leading politicians are heard even in the ranks of the Sohyo and the Communist Party. In what direction does the popular will seem to tend at present? By a considerable majority, apparently, in favor of the Conservatives, who in the past usually formed two-thirds of the Diet. The popularity of the Hatoyama cabinet has proved that no grudge is held against men who occupied high positions in the authoritarian period and during the war, but that on the contrary the majority trusts them, in the hope that they will reëstablish a Japanese order and not one inspired from America. The people are tired of corruption, laxity, laisser-faire, lack of a sense of duty and in particular of the rule of money--and all of these are things which the democratization of Japan brought in its train.

As we understand things in the West, we are tempted to say that the Japanese people votes against itself. Otherwise why would not the Right Socialists who are genuine democrats and not exaggerated State Socialists get more votes? When the Japanese military caste came into power it was by degrees, without a coup. In Germany, Hitler attained power legally. While history never repeats itself exactly, these examples may suggest the possibilities inherent in the present Japanese development. To say this may disappoint those who have believed that there is an absolutely valid form of government and that our ideas should be accepted as ideals by other peoples. Japan is beginning to think of her real self, and that is necessary, since a caricature such as she has become today has no strength and is exposed to dangers of all sorts, including Communism. The present trend to the Right may, we hope, remain within reasonable limits; at least it avoids a switch to Marxist collectivism such as has overtaken China.

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  • LILY ABEGG, a Swiss newspaperwoman who has spent much of her life in Japan, now a correspondent there of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Weltwoche of Zurich; author of "The Mind of East Asia" and several other volumes
  • More By Lily Abegg