Justice to Japan’s victims.
So far we have been concerned
with the proposals for preventing future Japanese aggression. But after Japan
has been driven from the lands it has invaded, there remains the vast problem
of restoring order and normal living conditions. In China, the Philippines, the
Dutch East Indies, Burma, and Malaya, millions of civilians have been killed,
maimed, robbed, or driven from their homes.
Much of the damage done can
never be made good. The dead cannot be brought back to life or the mutilated bodies
of the living made whole. The many thousands of Chinese debauched by Japanese
cheap opium cannot be restored to health. Priceless treasures of culture and religion,
many of them centuries old, cannot be replaced by “something just as good.”In
the course of the war, transportation systems, oil wells, mines, and plantations
have been wrecked or seriously damaged. But the worst may be yet to come. It is
very probable that the Japanese will practice a ruthless scorched earth policy
when they withdraw from conquered territory.
Much of the vast property damage
done by the Japanese will have to be repaired before the people of East
Asia get back to bearable living conditions. Return to prewar standards
may take many years.
Who is to pay for this great labor of reconstruction?
Justice would demand the return of all property seized by the Japanese, including
machinery and other loot carried to Manchukuo
and Japan. Naturally
all Japanese developments in Chinese territory not destroyed will be taken over
by the Chinese government. But the payment of reparations by Japan
to replace what it has ruined is no simple or easy problem. It is not covered
in any of the agreements announced by leaders of the major allied powers. The
payment of reparations by Japan
is yet to be decided. The Crimea Conference set a possible precedent, however,
when the participants “recognized it as just that Germany
be obliged to make compensation for this damage in kind to the greatest extent