Its Origins And Objects
Secret Society's Activities
From a Special Correspondent
Last week several thousand Japanese troops, led by a young captain, revolted against the government in Tokyo, occupied some of the ministries and assassinated several leading statesmen.
The following article from a special correspondent explains the far-reaching significance of the Japanese secret society known as the Black Dragon which is inspired by a militarist philosophy, patriotic and unselfish but ruthless and determined.
Between such a selfless " idealism" and the individualistic liberal tendencies of the late Minister of Finance —anxious chiefly for " markets" in the world—there was room for no compromise.
VICTIMS OF THE " BLACK DRAGON"
The Japanese elections were dominated by the question of military credits demanded by the army chiefs to accomplish their plans in China.
The opposition, the Minseito party, obtained a majority over the Seninkai which was defeated.
After the Russo-Japanese war Japan was very dissatisfied with the Peace of Portsmouth. A group of naval and military officers, all ultra-nationalists, formed a society which they called the Black Dragon. At the head of it was Toyama, who preached the doctrine : "Providence appeals to Japan to deliver humanity from the modern material civilisation, which leads nowhere."
Members of the society, saturated with this idea, would permit no criticism of the demands of the military chiefs who were the instruments of providence.
All the assassinated ministers were victims of the Black Dragon. Not all those condemned by the society were killed. But there will he further victims; and no one will dare to touch Toyama, who alone bears the ultimate responsibility.
Power of a Secret Society
It was thought that a truce had been reached between the society and the government after a great friend of Toyama, M. Hirota, had been given the portfolio of foreign affairs: also, as was to have been expected, his ministry was the only one which was not molested during the recent revolt.
When M. Takahachi was elected Minister of Finance and he refused to satisfy the financial requirements of the military chiefs, a revolt was inevitable. Such is the consequence of allowing secret societies to grow freely and to exercise their influence. One is no longer the master in one's own house.
Al present the Japanese army chiefs in Northern China are encouraging Manchukuo, already the master of Inner Mongolia, to set about the conquest of Outer Mongolia which would be certain to result in war between Japan and Soviet Russia. It would be difficult for Great Britain and the U.S.A. to remain indifferent to such an adventure which would raise the reality of the whole problem of the balance of policies in the Pacific and Asia as a whole.
l'or five years Japan has been attempting to create a second Japanese empire in China. She meets with little resistance.
England and the U.S.A., as protectors of China, are abdicating. Soviet Russia, after appearing warlike at first, is now resigned to the Japanese penetration. It is possible that all China may become Jape nese.
Last January, a change was brought about: the English and bolsheviks are at one in their Chinese policy. A treaty. signed by the Soviets in September 1935, and repudiated by England, has just been approved by Eden.
A Sino-Russian Treaty
According to this treaty. China authorises Russia to undertake the defence of Mongolia against Japan and Manchukuo. In exchange, Russia promises to cease all communist propaganda in China and offers a loan for the construction of a railway line from Kalkan to Ourga.
The situation took a turn in China's favour and the military news was unfavourable: the advance of the Kwantung army in the northern provinces was held up and the instigator, Major Dojhara, recalled to Tokio: and on the frontiers of Outer Mongolia, fresh incidents occurred every day.
This news, divulged by the press, was destined to force the Black Dragon to act without delay. or else it exposed its plans to the risk of defeat.
The Strong Man
To-day Araki is the strong man behind the scenes. The Tokyo rebels were undoubtedly associated with his group and he was responsible for the army trouble last year at the time of the purge—trouble which culminated in the murder of General Negate.
Araki is strongly in favour of an attack on Russia as soon as possible and of eliminating the party of Saito, Okada, etc. He is undoubtedly the coming man.