At the heart of the affinity between Japan and Asian nationalists, however, was their shared opposition to Western and Chinese imperial hegemonies in Asia. By turns anti-Western and anti-Chinese as circumstances demanded, Japan often seemed a natural ally to those in Asia who aspired to some kind of national liberation. The contradiction between the aspirations of Japan and those of other Asians lay first of all in the fact that Japan itself was an imperialist power. Its aim was political hegemony over a vast area of Asia and the marshalling of Asia's human and natural resources to support the interests of Japan. The hegemonic format it offered the rest of Asia was not conspicuously more attractive than that of late Western colonialism. The attempt to construct an alliance between Japanese imperialism and Asian nationalism was also fundamentally undermined by Japanese fickleness.