The author’s title has a double meaning in the context of his presentation. He shows how Japan has been fighting to build a huge Asiatic empire but at the same time he believes that Japan’s expansion has been the most important factor in enabling the nations and peoples of Asia to gain recognition of their equality with the west. He points out that the relinquishment of extraterritorial and other rights in China by Britain and the United States was a direct result of Japan’s expansion. He views the declaration by the Queen of the Netherlands in the same light.
Two other themes run through this book, which in content is largely a report of what a newspaper man saw and heard in occupied China after 1937 and while interned in Japan after Pearl Harbor. The first of these themes emphasizes Japan’s consistent drive toward domination of Asia and the failure of Americans to recognize the danger signals. The second theme stresses the importance of Japan’s political and psychological warfare in her conquered territories.
In support of the first theme the author presents statements made publicly and privately in interviews by Japanese officials giving clear indications of Japan’s intentions. He attempts to show how these warnings were dis-regarded and how those Americans who knew the situation first-hand and could have documented these warnings were disregarded by the government in Washington, which apparently did not wish to hear their views. In support of his second theme, Mr. Goette discusses the puppet regimes in China, Japan’s economic aggression in the occupied areas and Japanese propaganda. In this discussion, the author concludes that it is false to assume Japan’s conquest has been a gigantic looting expedition. He insists we must recognize the probable effectiveness of Japan’s relations to the peoples of the occupied areas in terms of grants of independence, elimination of the white man’s domination and attempts to win active support for the “Asia for the Asiatics” program.
– review from the Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 3, Issue 2 February 1944