WORLD FUTURE FUND
AN OUTLINE PLAN
FOR THE REORGANIZATION OF JAPAN
EXCERPTS FROM A CLASSIC OF MODERN JAPANESE FASCIST THOUGHT
EDITOR'S NOTE. Kitta Ikki is seen by many as the father of modern fascism in Japan. We don't have an opinion on this theory but mention it for the attention of our readers. A key point here is the virulent hostility of the author to capitalism. It is important to understand that this was very common in the original aspects of fascism in the west too. It is also important to see his vision of a giant campaign to liberate Asia from European imperialism. Variations of his views would be adopted by the Japanese government but their heavy handed imperialism in China would prevent the creation of Chinese-Japanese alliance to drive Russia and England out of Asia. In World War II, however, Japan would give aid to the Indian independence movement. This work was published in August 1919 in Shanghai, China.
The great empire of Japan is at a national turning point as it confronts internal troubles and foreign danger. A majority of the citizens face an uncertain future and seek to learn from the collapse of European states while those who control political, military and financial power for their private ends bury their heads in their sleeves and timidly try and sustain their illegitimate authority. Abroad, be it Britain, the United States, Germany, Russia, there is not a single power that has not violated its word; even our neighbor China, to whom we have provided protection since the Russo-Japanese War, has rewarded us with contempt. Truly, we are a small island isolated in the Eastern Sea. There is a danger that the country established by our ancestors will disappear if we make one miscalculation for we see again the danger of internal troubles and foreign danger that our country faced at the end of Tokugawa period and the Meiji Restoration.
The only light that brightens this picture is from the sixty million countrymen that heaven has given us. it is necessary for the citizens of Japan to firmly grasp the fundamental principles of the existence of the nation and of the human right of the equality of citizens and to be able to discriminate and select without confusing the pure and impure elements of domestic and foreign ideas. The First World War was like a punishment from heaven for the arrogant behaviour of European nations comparable to Noah's Flood. We certainly cannot expect plans to rebuild from those who are in a frenzied and confused state after the great destruction, but for out Japan the situation has been the opposite, and these five years have been of blessings. Europe should talk of reconstruction while we need to proceed with reorganization. All of the citizens of Japan should think with a cool heart of the fundamental reasons for the difference in heaven's rewards and punishment, how the basis for the reorganization of Japan that is desired can be established, decide on a national policy that the whole country unanimously agrees upon, and on the basis of this unity of all the Japanese citizens petition the emperor to exercise his authority so that while giving homage to the emperor the foundation for the reorganization of the nation can forthwith be established.
Our seven hundred million brethren in China and India have no way of establishing their independence without our aid and help. In our Japan the population has doubled in the last fifty years, and based on the rate of population growth there is no doubt that we will need territory in the next hundred years to sustain a population of at least two hundred and forty or fifty million. A hundred years for a country are comparable to a hundred days for an individual. How can those who are concerned about this inevitable future, or saddened by the wretched state of neighboring countries, find comfort in the pacifist ideas of doctrinaire socialism. I can positively say that there is no denying that a society progresses through class war, but what is this so-called social science that closes its eyes to wars between people and wars between nations that have taken place since the beginning of mankind. The authority of the European theory of revolution is based on such a shallow and superficial philosophy so that when it is necessary to comprehend this philosophy of the 'gospel of the sword' then the noble Greece of Asian civilization itself must take the initiative for the reorganization of the nation, and waving the flag for an Asian alliance and a world alliance, spread the teachings of the Way of Heaven to the Four Seas that all people are children of the Buddha.
The Emperor : The Creation of a
: The Creation of a Total Dictatorship
SUSPENSION OF THE CONSTITUTION
For the emperor and all the Japanese people to determine the basis for the national reorganization on the basis of imperial authority the constitution will be suspended for three years and both houses dissolved and the entire nation brought under martial law.
Note 1: There is no doubt that in extraordinary times harmful views and voted should be ignored. To regard an assembly or constitution as an absolute ideal is to accept a literal translation of a hallowed idea of (kyokenteki) Western democracy. Those who think in this way are obdurate conservatives hiding the real principles of ‘democracy’. They resemble the ludicrous arguments of those who explain Japan’s kokutai on the basis of [Shinto mythical] theories of the High Plain of Heaven.
It cannot be said that in debating a bill on naval expansion one vote of Admiral Togo [the hero of the 1905 Battle of Tsushima Straits] is not worth more than the three votes of the disgraceful Diet members, or that in voting on social programmes one vote by Karl Marx is not worth more than seven cast by Okura Kihachiro [entrepreneur and founder of one of Japan’s largest zaibatsu]. The effect of giving an absolute value to the present form of a government elected by votes ignores those people that have value and is nothing but support for the old order.
Note 2: People who think that a coup d’etat is an abuse of power for a conservative autocracy are people who ignore history. Napoleon did not compromise with conservative elements even when a large majority of the assembly and the newspapers were full of elements seeking to restore monarchical government and, so, ushered in a pure revolutionary period. As can be seen in the example of the present Russian revolution even though Lenin dissolved the assembly, which was full of harmful elements armed with machine guns, popular opinion still sees a coup d’etat as the act of conservative forces.
Note 3: A coup d’etat should be seen as the direct exercise of national power that is the social will. If we look at the progress of people then they, too, have come from popular groups. Political leaders such as Napoleon and Lenin give rise to such people. With the reorganization of Japan there will certainly be a coalition of popular groups and the leader, leading to the development of power.
Note 4: The necessity of dissolving the two houses is that the nobility and the rich classes who support these houses cannot support the emperor and the people in carrying out the reorganization. The reason for the necessity of suspending the constitution is that these people seek the protection of the present laws enacted under this constitution. The necessity of promulgating martial law is in order that the freedom of the country to suppress their resistance is not restricted in any way. However, those who in ignorance transplant a semi-revolutionary theory from abroad to argue for reorganization must also be suppressed.
THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EMPEROR
The fundamental principles of the emperor as the representative of the people and pillar of the nation must be made clear.
To make this principle clear a complete reform of the imperial court will be carried out on the basis of the spirit of the founder of the nation, Emperor Jimmu, and the revolution under the great Emperor Meiji and the present privy councilors and other officials will be dismissed and talent to assist the emperor will be sought from the realm.
An advisory council to assist the emperor will be established. The members of this council will be appointed by the emperor and the council will consist of fifty members.
A member of the advisory council must tender his resignation to the emperor when the cabinet committee takes action against him or the Diet passes a vote of no-confidence against him. However, they will not be responsible to either the cabinet or the Diet.
CONDEMNATION OF WESTERN DEMOCRACY
[…] Note 2: There is absolutely no scientific basis for the thinking that a 'democracy', that is, a state system in which the representatives of the people are selected by an electoral system is better than a system where the state is represented by a single person. The nation differs according to the spirit of the peoples of each nation and the history of the formation of the nation. One cannot say that China, which has had a republican government for eight years is more rational than Belgium where one person represents the nation. The American idea of 'democracy' is based on the idea of a society formed through the free will of individuals who enter into a free contract and the extremely crude ideas of the time that individuals broke away from the original countries of Europe and formed village communities and these became nations. The theory of the divine right of voters was a feeble philosophy, merely the obverse of the divine right of kings. This did not happen with the establishment of Japan, and neither was there a period when such a feeble philosophy was dominant. A system where the head of the state has to manipulate views by selling his name, refining his mannerisms like a low-class actor to fight elections, is for the Japanese race who have been brought up to believe that silence is golden and modesty a virtue, invitation enough to remain a mute spectator to this strange custom….
II. Limit on Private Wealth
A Japanese citizen will be allowed to own property up to a limit of Yen 3,000,000 per family. The same ceiling will apply to Japanese nationals owning property abroad. Violations of this limit by donating the property to blood relatives or others, and attempts to transfer ownership in any other manner, will not be permitted.
Note: Though establishing a ceiling and permitting private wealth below Yen 3 million, I recognize the various theories of social revolution which totally reject private wealth as a final objective and seek to fundamentally transform the understanding of man and Society. The individual's freedom to act and seek enjoyment should not be dependent on private wealth. It is a different and an unimportant problem that some people in reaction to the theories arising from a view of society as all powerful, disregard differences in wealth and urge a uniform equality. I, however, argue that as individuals' abilities differ, the system must recognize these differences. Man cannot be equal in the desire for physical enjoyment and physical activity….
GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY EXCEEDING THE LIMIT
The state will take over all property exceeding the ceiling without paying compensation.
The existing law cannot be used to justify refusal to hand over such property. If there is someone who seeks to violate this law, he will be seen as bringing into contempt the authority of the emperor and endangering the fundamental principles of the Reorganization of the nation. The crime of endangering the emperor and that of rebellion against the nation will be enforced during the period of martial law, and for such crimes the death sentence is administered.
Note 1: The present state, seem from the point of economic organization, is not a unified state but in its economic system it is at the stage of the ‘warring states’, that is it is a feudal state. In America the political rule of the daimyo was eventually established. The state has progressed from a period when the bushi or warriors as a family, raised private armies, to fight aggressive wars of subjugation, to the present state of unity. Similarly, only by ending the economic feudal structure with its private economic armies will it be possible to bring about the internal economic unity of the state.
Note 2: The reason for not giving compensation to the present big capitalists and big landlords for the appropriation is that these few people have been able to accumulate this wealth, which is actually the product of common social progress and common production, because of an iniquitous system. The second reason is that if they are compensated from the public debt then they will, as earlier, have the wealth to injure the economic unity of the country. The third reason is that the state cannot spread this compensation to this illogical ownership of capital which is actually the capital of the state and which, for the first time in history, can be directly administered by the state.
Note 3: The death penalty is not something that is desirable. It is also surely not necessary to consider the vengeful uprisings of the propertyless. Actually, in collecting the land of the nobility, we shall learn from the prudent foresight of the ancient wisdom of Saigo Takamori, who said that if there are any dissenting domains (han) they should be subjugated. Seeing the death of one or two people everyone will obey.
In the future, after the reorganization, those who acquire wealth exceeding the ceiling on private property will deliver that amount to the state.
The state will regard this as rational labour and accept this payment as a donation and will adopt a policy of clearly regarding this as meritorious labour. It will not be possible, with the intention of avoiding this objective, to distribute or donate to blood relatives or others. The penalty for violators will be decided under the law.
It should be understood that he origin of wealth at present and after the Reorganization will be different….
IV. Unification of Big Capital by the State
VII. Reorganization Plan for Korea and Other Present and Future Possessions
The reform of Korea, Taiwan, Karafuto and the other territories will first be limited to establishing the three great principles [limit on private wealth, the limit on private property, and the limit on private industry] and then to gradually implementing the remaining Reorganization plan so that within ten or twenty years the same conditions and the right to existence will prevail as in Japan. However, once the internal reform of Japan is over and martial law completed, then at the same time the three great principles will be enforced….
Plans for a War of Liberation against Western Imperialism
Plans for a War of Liberation against Western Imperialism
The nation has the right to initiate a war, not just for self-defence but also for the other nations and races who are suppressed by an unprincipled power. (To give a concrete example, it is the right of a nation to launch a war for the independence of India or the protection of China.)
The nation also has the right to launch a war against a nation that, for its own development, illegally occupies another territory and ignores the Way of Heaven (tondo) of the mutual coexistence of races. (To give a concrete example, it is the right of a nation to launch a war against the occupiers of Manchuria and Far-Eastern Siberia.)
Note 1: The world powers, when they seek to start a war today only deceive themselves and others when they use the old moral justifications, and moreover they use these excuses for self-protection not really understanding the right of a nation to exist; this is really a form of cowardice. If they genuinely understood this then they would confidently proclaim war. Japan, to develop vigorously, cannot go to war simply for private profit and selfish desires but only for justice. It must be seen as equally just when other races change the status quo by actively raising their own awareness and try and expel occupiers and invaders. Personal gain is not an evil crime, just as suicide is not a moral issue. Therefore, profit in itself is not unjust but correct gain is transformed into an offence and in trying to gain this advantage you miss justice.
Unarguably, the present situation is not just. Just like the situation in which England used India as a beast of burden for its interest is not justice, in the same manner the condition in which Australia is blockaded from the 700 million people of neighbouring Japan and Asia is also not a just one. Just as the self-interest of the Tsar in trying to annex China and colonize Korea is unjust in the present time, so the present policy of the 'Lenin' government is unjust if it is seeking to monopolize the wide and barren spaces of Siberia and ignoring the interests of other countries. Just as the lass war within a nation is fought because a line of division is drawn against justice, so also in international relations, in the case of a just war it seeks to redraw an unjust line of division fairly. Britain, astride the whole world, is like a very rich man and Russia is landlord of half the northern world. Doesn't Japan, which is like a propertyless person in international society confined to these small islands, have the right to go to war to overthrow their domination In the name of justice?
HYPOCRISY OF WESTERN SOCIALISTS
The Western socialists have a fundamental contradiction in their
thinking when they criticize Japan's war as an invasion and militarism, for they
accept the war of the proletariat within a nation and Japan in international
society is in the position of the proletariat. Even while 'Hughes' is of working
class origins and Lenin is a person respected by fellow socialists, looking at
them from the point of international conflict, they are big landlords, just as
in olden times, Okura Kihachiro
started as a fish seller and Kato Komei was a poor
student, but from the point of the proletariat they are rich people.
Within the country the proletariat is organizing itself institutionally and
preparing to seek power, and if they seek to emphasize that they will change
this unjust condition violently then Japan, which internationally is the
proletariat, should strengthen its army and navy which are the institutions
within which power is concentrated, and then start a war to change the unjust
line of division and have this unconditionally accepted. If this is expansionism
and militarism, then with the encouragement of the world proletariat, Japan
should wear it as a crown of gold. Even under the rationalization of democratic
socialism, Japan can demand Australia and eastern Siberia. Even with abundant
harvests, after several years there won't be enough land to provide food. Even
with greater distribution within the country, without international
distribution, Japan will not resolve problems in an eternity. However, you
should be careful of the fact that in German socialism there is no understanding
of this international division, as it is ruled by the medieval institution of
the Kaiser's government, which is why it received as unjust the rational claims
for the redistribution of English possessions, and because of this these
medieval institutions will collapse.
Therefore, if the Japan of military and financial cliques raises these demands it would follow the footsteps of Germany, a fact that is clear as light. All explanations support the argument that a reformed and rational state: a revolutionary empire must fight for international justice.
INDIA: JAPAN SHOULD HELP THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT
INDIA: JAPAN SHOULD HELP THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT
Note 2: Be prepared for the problem of Indian independence, which will be like 'Sarajevo' for the coming Second World War. However, Japan's mission should naturally be demonstrated in efficient aid. Even if Britain permits them the so-called autonomy and does not expel them from the 'John Bull Society' they will rise in rebellion as fundamentally they want independence. The defeat of the Indian independence movement during the First World War is solely due to the loyalty of Japan to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, and, therefore, because England has so far had an invincible army they are now lying low for a while. The major principle behind Japan's aid must be that their independence can only be aided efficiently on the seas. Indian independence, moreover, is like the independence of America. The thirteen states of America, when they began their war of independence, were initially defeated continually by British troops and only later was victory possible when the really effective aid of the French navy off the Cape of Maine destroyed the British navy and made the transport of troops impossible. As without the aid of foreign armies, colonial Americans did not have weapons, so Indian independence fighters, whose arms have been completely captured and so troops can be sent at will to suppress them, and therefore their independence will be in the far future.
As the decisive factor in the independence of America was the French navy, so also the decisive factor in the success or failure of Indian independence will depend on what the navy of Japan or those countries which would ally with Japan, will do to destroy the British navy. There is not a great deal of use in having the aid of the Japanese army. Rather, after the war, the establishment of concessions will sow troubles, and it should be clearly stated that any compensation from India will quickly foul the proclamation of the principles of the Heavenly Way…. Japan, based on this Reorganization and with the wealth of the nation, should with great speed, develop its naval power. Japan and Britain cannot maintain neutral relations, and there are only two ways, either to support the present dependent status or as its conqueror to seek its break-up. There will be no need for Japan in the future to seek to make India a dependent country, politically, culturally, and intellectually, and slaughter its patriots. If all the people in Japan desire as apostles of the Heavenly Way to follow the road, then it is necessary to have a militarist organization, which is capable of destroying British militarism on the seas…. Militarism will be a title for Japan and she will be the Jehovah of Indian independence. The pacifists who profane and falsely slander the Jehovah of the thousands of soldiers, are really using the conciliatory language of the Devil who fears the anger of Jehovah and seeks to continue violence and evil. Those who imitate the British are a hundred times worse than those who propagate Lenin.
BRITISH IMPERIALISM AIMS AT CHINA
BRITISH IMPERIALISM AIMS AT CHINA
Note 3: China will, as a result of the First World War, change rapidly, just as India will seek to change…. There is no need to explain that England seeks to make China into an economic quasi-dependency…. It is unarguable that Britain, with India as a base, and through Afghanistan and Persia will invade central Asia, and it is clear that in connection with Hong Kong as a base for the far-eastern sea they are thinking of dividing the area south of central China. This is the greatest danger faced by China, even more than the earlier invasion of Manchuria by Russia. Therefore, to Japan, which supports the idea of protecting China by confronting England, the importance of Hong Kong in the plan to invade China is no less than the role of Port Arthur and Vladivostok during the Russo-Japanese War. England does not even consider the merely verbal resistance of Japan as it has an army that has defeated all its enemies and desires China. This is not a mere conjecture. It can be proved with facts…. The time to debate about whether to go to war with England to protect China has long passed.
THE NEED FOR JAPAN TO CONQUER EASTERN SIBERIA
Note 5: Japan has the right, based on a
comprehensive theory for protecting China, to control far-eastern Siberia and
this acquisition will also work to counter traditional Russian policy which
poses a danger to China from the north. After Japan obtains the Chinese Eastern
Railway…and links far-eastern Siberia, China on its own strength should be able
to defend Inner and Outer Mongolia from Russian invasion. In this manner Japan
will draw a large circle in the north and protect China, and China will be
Japan's forward base.
The China policy of the militarists, which
seeks to build defences to invade Inner Mongolia
after the Russian invasion of Outer Mongolia, has protected China up to a
certain point but will end up in dividing it…. If you believe that the nation
has the right to publicly declare war, then it is desirable to emphasize the
necessity of Japan and China demanding that Lenin cede far-eastern Siberia.
Because the normal right of a nation is kept secret under the pretext of a
'Czechoslovak aid' plan, Japan is suspected by friends and foes of hiding bad
ambitions. Japan's actions abroad should be that not an inch of land should be
taken unnecessarily but should the need arise then it should be in the healthy
spirit done openly, under the light of Heaven and the sun, taking the whole
world and yet finding it small.
Note 6: In order to ensure the safety of
the Sea of Japan, Korea and China, that is, for the conclusion of the
Russo-Japanese War against Russia, Japan who wants to possess far-eastern
Siberia should not lack for a big army. Moreover, in accordance with the destiny
of the three principles of national polity, Japan should assist Indian
independence and secure the protection of China by acquiring the southern parts
of Asia. Japan, because it must fully oppose England, needs to urgently acquire
a large navy. If during the present war the Great Saigo
or the Meiji emperor had been here they would have acted in concert with German
troops to subdue Russia with our navy dividing the British navy's preparations
between the home country and India and Australia, so creating a very
situation to defeat each wing separately; rapidly building, within a year, an
empire from Russia in the north to Australia in the south….
Note 7: I will only mention one important vital fact…. America is afraid of Japanese immigrants. The American possession of the Philippines is a concern for Japan. The conflict between Japan and America is over capital investments in China. At first glance, there seems to be incompatibility but actually it is not the time to say which way the two countries, Japan and America, will be guided to an alliance by the wondrous plan of Heaven. There is just one thing to do: wait for a great hero to appear after the fundamental Reorganization. The first urgent matter for a movement by the Japanese beyond the boundaries of law (chohoritsuteki undo), under the leadership of the emperor, will be to completely excise the privileged classes, both economically and politically, because of the worry within and the distress outside; the cause of all these troubles comes out of this tumour. Japan is at the moment standing on the precipice of whether it will take nothing or everything. The urgent need of a national Reorganization exceeds that of the Meiji ishin-kakumei. However, the benevolence of Heaven will, depending on the excision of this tumour, determine the health of Japan.
CONCLUSION: JAPAN AS THE LEADER OF A GLOBAL REVOLUTION
….[I]f someone calls the General Principles
of the Reorganization of Japan a social revolutionary theory it would not be
wrong…. In the past the waves of ideas from Europe and America washed over
Japan, but to deny that the wave of Japanese civilization will wash over America
is really unscientific. The civilizations of Egypt and Babylon were followed by
the Greek civilization, which in turn was replaced by Roman civilization. After
the Roman civilization came that of individual nation-states…. A narrow-minded
theory from Indian civilization became the basis of Western religious philosophy
but all traces of this in India itself were wiped out and its passage in China
left only the bare bones. Only in a tiny island in the Eastern Sea was it
closely treasured as a Great Way. Here it became Japanized,
and later modernized, and now universalized and, after the coming of the Second
World War, its revival will brighten the whole world. The renaissance of olden
times will be nothing in comparison. The Western-Eastern culture will be of
Asian thought Japanized and universalized, which
will enlighten the vulgar, so-called civilized peoples.
The universe moves in a proper way, countries advance and decline. Just as for a few hundred years the countries of Europe did not allow people like Genghis Khan of the Mongol people to rule them, now how many years will the Anglo-Saxon tribe trample the world? History progresses. There are steps to advance. Historical progress in the East and West has gone through a 'warring states' (sengoku) period and after that followed what can be called the collective unification of feudal states, and so on up to the present international 'warring states' period and now the next stage is reached when world peace is made possible because a very powerful nation appears which will reign over the small and the big nations of the world, and establish a feudal peace (hokenteki heiwa). The various theories of world peace that seek to do away with national frontiers, based on the establishment of their ideals, ignore the conditions that make this possible, namely the realization of the great scientific inventions and the spiritual surge. The reality of ideals in all parts of the world is that there is always only one Toyotomi, Tokugawa, or one sacred emperor. The Japanese people should consider that the older meaning of sovereignty, the supreme right, above the right to control, will be revived internationally and that the Supreme State, which controls various states, will be realized. The Land of the Gods is narrated in myths…. That the star flag of America presided over the meeting at the Versailles palace implicitly reveals that it was a dark night for the world. The Japanese rising sun flag, after defeating England, making India independent and China self-reliant will shed the light of Heaven on all the people of the world. The coming again of Christ, prophesied all over the world, is actually the Japanese people's scripture and sword in the shape of Mohammed. The Japanese people should face the historically unprecedented national difficulties that are coming by reforming the political and economic organizations based on the Fundamental Principles for the Reorganization of Japan. Japan, as the Greece of Asian civilization, destroyed a strong Russia, as Persia was in the sea battle of Salamis. It will only be then that the real awakening of the 700 million people of China and India begins. On the road to Heaven there is no peace without war.