Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 11 June 15, 1938
Small, shy but very pleasant to talk to is Mr. Gunji, the Japanese Consul—is the Japanese population of New Zealand live, rising eight, or is it 10. I forget—and "Salient" was more interested to hear his enthusiasm on Japanese art and Japanese home life than diplomatic wordings to questions.
East is East, and West still West, which must account tor what is to Japan stern duty (In action) is to us wrong and boloney.
Mr. Gunji thinks China is a naughty place—a wild place of peasants, bandits and unruliness—China has violated treaties, assassinated, provoked attacks, boycotted and insulted—all against the Japanese. "China harbours Communist armies, rabidly anti-Japanese, and we tear the development of Communism at our doorway. We Tear China's instability and uncertainty, politically and economically—this situation makes it impossible for us to withdraw, because to Japan; Chinese trade. Is vital; we have so much to give each other."
Would Japan institute any agrarian reforms In China when she took over?
"We would force the peasants to grow cotton and soya beans—we need them very much. The Chinese must give up ideas of industry, and produce; it is important to encourage farmers in agriculture—they must produce and we in Japan take over industry.
Pacts, Fax and Boloney
"Would Japan attempt to make pacts with outside capitalistic powers?'"
"No. Because Japan wants to finish this incident herself, and has no wish to implicate other powers, even though China is backed by the Soviet. But she has him made an agreement with Italy and Germany, for we have sympathies against the Sovlet, the Anti-Comlntern Pact: and the action of America and Britain with regard to industry have distressed us."
"The political situation Influences the conditions at the University—students particularly study political subjects and for the newspaper. The Government controls everything, and there is some restriction on expression of opinion. The curriculum is limited, but I think it is wise, for sometimes publicity misleads a nation. There is no undercurrent of Bolshevism, except in younger students, and strict measures are taken to eradicate it."
"Foreigners say that censorship is very strict, but the Government does not do it. All the people are united to support the policy, all people do not like Communism nationalism is strong: they want to protect rights and interests—foreigners do not realise it is voluntary censorship by the people, We don't have radical minorities—there is the same psychology and view throughout, so there is no need for Government restriction."
"Could you give some comment on the social and industrial unrest?" asked "Salient."
"You Westerners are wrong again—there is no social unrest. It is a complicated matter. There was some unemployment, but since this incident began, factories engaged in armaments manufacture have absorbed unemployment, and there is no trouble socially. Factories are privately owned." beamed Mr. Gunji. "Industry is improved, very much improved recently——"
"But your standard of life is low—appalling," interrupted "Salient."
"Yes—bill you are wrong to judge our minimum standard of life by yours. We do not need so many things as you—we have always just had rice—or a fish. Your peasants live at much higher standard than ours you should not Judge us. No children are employed in our factories and women have splendid improvement working conditions."
Mr. Ganji rejected the "Salient" suggestion that Japan's ultimate aim was to "get hold" of the Philippines. Singapore, etc., through South China. "We only desire to establish markets no conquests. There should not he conflicts with other countries but co-operation and mutual understanding."