Armed with the unlimited backing of his sovereign and people, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto has arrived in London to begin a series of naval conversations with the United States and Great Britain. While pleading for the cooperation of the three powers for the successful conclusion of the conference, the Japanese representative presented a program the acceptance or refusal of which is equally dangerous to the interests of Pacific, and oven, world peace.
Japan's plan provides for the abolition of existing ratios, equality of naval strength, limitation of offensive ships yet unlimited authority for each nation to build as many defensive ships as it wants. The last provision is the oriental joker. International law has yet failed to give a satisfactory definition of offensive ships. Thus under the shelter of such a treaty Japan could, and will if possible, attempt to build her navy to match the strength of her Pacific rivals. Once already, fear of Japanese invasion has caused a concentration of English sea power to protect Singapore and the Dutch Indies. Consequently it is absurd to believe that England would allow Japan to create a navy commensurate in size or strength with her own. Nor is it conceivable that Senator Hiram Johnson and his colleagues would allow the United states to stand idle while her Pacific neighbor arms to the teeth. In short, the acceptance of such a program might easily lead to another naval race, a race easily precipitated due to the popularity of such conceptions as "national security," yet almost impossible to stop short of war. The Admiral has offered this plan saying that Japan will decide at the end of the conversations whether or not to scrap the existing Washington limitation treaty.
Thus Japanese diplomacy has forced the hands of the leading nations. A false move in any direction is likely to load to a race for naval supremacy. Arrogant from their recent successes on every front, Japan is attempting to utilize a period of depression to place itself on a basis of equality with its great Pacific rivals, the United States and England.