Can Japan Pay Damages?
Morally it is right that the nation guilty of international banditry should reimburse its victims. But there are practical limits beyond which such payments cannot go. After defeat, Japan will be too impoverished to meet these vast obligations in either money or goods.
Large-scale payments in gold and currency can be a menace to both victor and vanquished. They may wreck the financial system of the defeated country and upset international exchange to the detriment of the winners.
Reparations in goods or the tools of production are another matter. It is probable that Japan will be required to transfer wealth in this form to its “moral creditors,”especially China. But Japan’s ability to pay with manufactured goods depends upon the recovery of its industries after the war.
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