Behind Japan’s urge to expansion are a number of impelling forces. There is the explosive pressure of rapidly increasing population in a land that is already overcrowded. There is the feeling of being unfairly treated in the world distribution of territory and raw materials. There is the exceptionally strong position of the fighting services vis-à-vis the civil authorities. There is the high-flown sense of nationalism, which for many Japanese has all the force of religious conviction. There is the mystical idea of Japan’s Pan-Asian mission, very popular with retired army officers and nationalist theoreticians, which envisages Japan as the leader of an Asia from which ‘white imperialism’ has been banished. Finally, there is the great difficulty, not to say impossibility, of turning back from the imperial road on which the country has started, no matter how great may be the difficulties and obstacles which may be encountered . . .