Let Japan Choose [Excerpt]
JAPAN is, to put it bluntly, out on a limb. It is possible for the United States, acting in concert with the British nations, China, the Dutch Government of the East Indies, and the Soviet Government of Siberia, to saw off that limb; or, alternatively, to help Japan to descend from her precarious perch, on fair terms, with a minimum of injury and loss of face. We should be prepared to do the first and offer to do the second. Then let Japan choose. . . .
. . . Japan's one chance -- and many intelligent Japanese must be reflecting along this line -- is to enter negotiations for a general settlement with the anti-Axis governments and to do it now while she still has some bargaining power. We, on our side, while prepared to meet any aggressive Japanese moves by force, should also be willing to offer Japan terms of settlement which take account of the legitimate aspirations of the Japanese people, particularly their need for assurance of economic opportunities abroad in the form of market outlets and raw material supplies.
A two-part program will be outlined below. It is suggested that the United States, acting with the British nations, China, the Netherlands East Indies, and the Soviet Union, should adopt such a program as its policy in the Pacific. The first part of the program consists of pressure on Japan. The second opens a gate for Japan to pass through peacefully -- a way out which is compatible both with the legitimate, long-run interests of the Japanese people and with the interests of other peoples in the Pacific.
The program of pressure on Japan would include: (1) continued and increased aid to China, in order to immobilize as many Japanese troops as possible in the Chinese theater of war; (2) close collaboration with the British and the Dutch in continuing to build up the already strong defenses of Manila, Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies, plus aid in strengthening the Soviet forces in Eastern Siberia inRead the full article on ForeignAffairs.com