In 1914, England joined in war against Germany, and King George called for volunteers for the army. The British public showed some anxiety about food supplies which brought reassuring statements from the government. The Japanese premier, Count Okuma, expressed his regret that the United States had not been able to mediate in the European conflict, which he said, if it continued, meant the destruction of western civilization. Japan, he continued, would have been happy to join the United States in mediation but her possible participation in the war as the ally of Great Britain made her an interested party. The premier said that Japan, if she were reluctantly compelled to intervene, would protect the British colonies but under no circumstances would she send a fleet or an army to Europe.