Address by His Excellency, Syozo Murata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines, at the reception for distinguished Filipinos given by the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, October 26, 1943:
I am sincerely grateful to you for giving me the pleasure of your company at this reception.
On that memorable day, the 14th of October, I was informed that His Majesty the Emperor, my August Sovereign, was graciously leased to appoint me His Ambassador to be stationed in the Philippines, and that members of my staff were at the same time nominated by my Government. Hereupon the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines was formally established and inaugurated its official functions.
It gives me the most profound satisfaction that I have been enabled to continue my stay among nice people in this country. I hope that l I shall be able to repay your hospitality and friendship by working as best as I can for the common good of our two countries. I am very happy to say that all members of my staff are also willing and determined to spare no effort for the same purpose. I should be much obliged, therefore, if you would kindly extend to them, the same friendship and cooperation as you have done to my humble self.
It was less than a fortnight ago that the independence of the Philippines was proclaimed all over the world. Nevertheless this young Republic has obtained recognition from several friendly powers and secured a worthy position in the family of nations. The system of her internal government is being steadily perfected under the far-sighted leadership of His Excellency the President.
In the meantime, the National Assembly was convened in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Honorable members of the Assembly have proved by their deeds that they are entirely free from the old idea that the legislature must make a point of checking and obstructing the administration. With His Excellency Benigno Aquino as Speaker, they have voluntarily cooperated with the administration of national policies.
It is a matter for our sincere congratulation that the Assembly has thus indicated the political orientation of this country. Furthermore, the Assembly approved at the outset of its session the Pact of Alliance between our two countries, and consented to the creation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by the well-deserved appointment to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of His Excellency Dr. Claro M. Recto, whom we greatly respect. Last but not least, we were happy to learn that His Excellency Jorge B. Vargas, so familiar to the Japanese as Chairman of the former Executive Commission, was chosen as Ambassador to Japan. All these events have given profound gratification to us Japanese.
Our gratification is further enhanced when we compare the situation in Greater East Asia with that prevailing in other parts of the world. Since the outbreak of the current World War in 1939, several nations who relied upon false assurances have lost their independent existence. In Greater East Asia, on the other hand, peoples are realizing their centuries-old aspirations. To cite a few examples, we can mention such extraordinary facts as China’s recovery of her full sovereignty, the independence of Burma and the Philippines, the participation of the native people of Djawa in the administration, and the establishment of the Provisional Government of Free India. It has no parallel in the history of mankind that such a happy state of affairs has been materialized amidst the bitterest fighting.
Now I stand here as the first Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, and I am the host of this house. Most of you must have recollections related to this house—sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant. Some may think of the gay parties given by American hosts and hostesses, and remember those bygone days as ‘good old days.’
We are apt to cling to the past, as the mother clings to her child. But a nation who clings too long to the memories of the past can never attain greatness. Japan is an old country, having a history of twenty-six centuries since her founding. We do love things of old, and yet we are renewing ourselves every day, by always looking forward and adjusting ourselves to new better days. What we are doing now is to create a ‘better new age, for our sons and daughters and their children.
We are fighting to bring forth in Greater East Asia a sphere dedicated not only to the proposition that all men are created equal, but also to the principle that all men shall be given an equal opportunity, so that our children may develop their innate abilities to the fullest extent and make the world richer by their contribution. Reduced to the simplest terms, our ideal is to establish a regime, under which diligent peoples shall have their due reward; the individual shall work for the good of the whole, while the whole shall protect the happiness of the individual. In other words, our ideal is the perfect harmony of human relations, and as such, it is not impossible to realize. We can realize it right within our own family circle, and then extend it to our relations with friends, with our country and with other nations. In a harmonious family, every member works for the good of all, retaining his own individuality, and respecting the standpoint of other members. Such shall be the case with our family of East Asian nations.
‘Asia is one,’ as the far-sighted Japanese, Tensin Okakura said. We are shipmates on a rough voyage: we must stand by each other if we want to reach our haven. But our haven will not be far. Our haven—where the sunrise will be as magnificent as on the coast of Japan, and the sunset as gorgeous as in Manila Bay.
In concluding my address, may I ask you to join me in toasting for the future prosperity of the Republic of the Philippines and for the good health of my honored guest.
Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library