A Chinese diplomat who has spent a long time in Japan told me today an interesting species of mild sabotage in which he has long indulged. It consists simply in ignoring all subtle hints and veiled suggestions made by the Japanese.
As an instance he cited the case of a former Romanian diplomat in Tokyo who applied for permission to leave the country. For some reason or other he was not in the good graces of the Japanese but of course the latter could not openly obstruct his departure. So they discouraged him by saying it would be extremely hard to secure a visa from the Nanking government but if such a visa could be secured they would have no other objections.
Meantime they called up the Chinese embassy. A Rumanian diplomat, they announced, would soon call at the embassy for a visa. Would the embassy grant it?
Naturally, the embassy replied.
It would not be –er– too much trouble? Too inconvenient perhaps, in view of the “situation” in China?
No, not at all, the embassy insisted.
But how long would the visa take? Perhaps two or three weeks?
No, the embassy replied with invincible obtuseness. For diplomats a special consideration would be made and the visa would be issued in a day.
The Japanese gave up in disgust and the Rumanian, through the courtesy of the Chinese, went on his way.