Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit THURSDAY, MAY 4, 1905. THE ANGLO-JAPANESE ALLIANCE.
In the latest; uurnber of the " Nineteenth Century," Mr Kltzbacher discusses the value of the Alliance between Britain and Japan, and tho advisability of continuing it. The alliance was signed m 1902, »nd is to last five years. One year before the I end of that period either party may notify the other of its unwillingness to continue i the alliance for another term, the agreement being that the alliance Bball continue m force for one year after the date on which one of the contracting partius has signified its intention of terminating it. As long as either ally ia at war, however, the alliance is to remain unbroken, so that next January both Britain and Japan will have an opportunity of indicating whether they wish to continue the alliance for a further term, it being understood that the Russo-Japanese war must be concluded before the alliance terminates. The moral value of the alliance with the leading Power | of the West has been of very great assistance to Japan, and it is likely from all points of view that the latter will b 9 desicous of continuing the alliance. But that cannot be predicted with certainty, as Japanese i statesmen have as yet given no indication of their opinion on Britain's attitude during the war. From Britain's point of view the chief object of the alliance wa3 to preserve the integrity of China and to prevent trade with that country from falling into the hands of a few European Powers, such as Germany and Kusaia. Mr Eltzbachor bases his article on the conclusion that the preservation of the integrity of the Cnineae Empire and the policy of the "opsn door" are the safest and most advantageous course for Britain to support. Under those circumstances, he argues, Japan ia the best ally Britain can find. Farther, if the Anglo-Japanese alliance is terminated, and Japan thu3 left free to ally herself with another Power, it is quite conceivable that Russia might m time so intrigue as to win Japan to jher side m plan ning a combined invasion of India, or some other British possession. This possibility, though it seems at present a strange one to Buggest, ibas to be taken into account. Referring to the Yellow Peril, and the suggestion that Japan aims at the conquest and reorganisation of China, Mr Eltzbaoheri declares that sinoe the Anglo-Japanese alliance has for its miin object the preservation of the integrity of China, there is nothing to diead from the Yellow Peril during the continuance of that alliance. Another contention the same writer brings forward is that Britain is naturally an isolated Powhc m the Far East, and has m the pft.^t been subjected on that account to aggression at the hands of other Powers, whereas as long as Britain is allied with Japan, she can safely leave it to Japan to keep a vigilant eye on the encroachments of the adversaries of either. The result, Mr Eltzbacher urges, would be that British trade m the Far East would .benefit, and British naval strength m other parts of the Empire would be increased owing to tho alliance permitting the transference of the China Bquadron to some other station. There are, moreorer, other benefits that might accrue from the alliance. The writer m question considers that Japan is destined to be the interpreter between Europe and Asia, being as sbe is thoroughly acquainted with the ways of both the Eastern and the Western world. He says that the Chinese go to the Japanese and ask their advice when they fail to understand tho British, and consequently the British may apply to Japan if they wish to be successful m dealing with China. That country ha 3 been terrorised and flattered by turns and robbed all the time, and she therefore looks on all foreigners as enemies. Japan ehe understands, and the co-operation of Japanese and British m China could not help boing profitable to both nations. Another weight/ consideration which Mr Elczbacher brings forward ia the growth of trade between Britain and Japan. At present more than one third of Japan's imports come from Britain and India, while more than one half come from those two sources with the United States added. Mr Eltzbaoher holds that the continuance of the Anglo-Japanese alliance would make it possible for Britain to supply the greater portion of Japan's nebds m manufactured goods and the colonies to supply the greater portion of her needs m raw material. The arguments which the Nineteenth Century article advances m favour of Britain continuing the alliance are weighty ones, and though something may remain to be said on the other side, the case made out cor this side must ■be admitted to be a strong one.