Press statement of Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jorge B. Vargas, October 28, 1943:

I look forward to my mission with high expectations of continued peaceful cooperation between the Empire of Nippon and the Republic of the Philippines in the construction of a new order of peace, liberty, and moral justice. There is every reason for common action to attain common welfare. With earnest and sincere understanding of the part which each nation has taken upon itself to play in the attainment of the ideal, and with a resolute determination to do its allotted share of the common undertaking, all problems can be equitably and cheerfully solved. As the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Empire of Nippon, I am resolved to be guided and inspired always by the spirit of the pact of amity and alliance which unites the two countries.

Apart from my official functions and responsibilities I should like to look upon myself as an Ambassador of Good-will from the Filipino people to the Japanese people. I should like to do as much as I can to reconcile any differences of opinion, outlook, or way of life that may exist between them as a result of historical circumstances over which we had no control.

I am aware of the fact that such a task is vast and cannot be easily or quickly accomplished. But a good start has been made and solid foundations for it have been laid in the numerous individual friendships that have sprung up between Japanese and Filipinos in the past years. It is difficult, if not impossible, for nations as a whole to immediately acquire complete mutual understanding. The most natural way for such understanding to develop is by the ever-increasing contact and sympathy among the individual nationals of the countries concerned. Such a process has received great impetus in the Philippines since the start of the regime of collaboration with Japan through the earnest diffusion of Japanese ideals and culture. It shall be my endeavor to intensify it similarly during my stay in the Empire of Nippon.

In this respect I look for particular aid and assistance from those Japanese who have honored me personally with their friendship and those who have lived in the Philippines, who have come to know the Filipino people more closely, and have worked for Nippon-Philippine friendship through such organizations as the Nippon-Philippine Society and the Catholic Goodwill Association. Personally I can say that I derived much encouragement and comfort during my past Chairmanship of the former Executive Commission from the spontaneous letters of sympathy and good wishes written to me by personal friends in Japan. I shall never forget their thoughtfulness and kindness and I hope that in the future I may deserve from them the same measure of sincere friendship.

While the basic principle of Nippon-Philippine relations has been established in terms of political, military, and economic collaboration, as provided by the treaty of alliance between the two countries, there will always be room for mutual understanding and common action in other fields. Many of the special individual friendships to which I have referred were made in the sphere of commerce, in the field of sports, or in cultural and artistic intercourse. I have personally found sports to be one of the most fruitful sources of international friendship. I have many pleasant memories of the past Far Eastern Olympic games and various athletic meets which were held frequently among Japanese, Filipinos, and other Oriental peoples. I also recall the beneficial effects that followed the exchange of professors between the Japanese and Philippine universities, the cultural missions of writers and artists, and other similar manifestations of mutual interest and friendship.

Much of this activity is difficult and impractical in these times of war but I believe that, in addition to collaboration in other essential fields, a start can be made toward the expansion of the idea of East Asian unity into cultural fields. I entertain high hopes that, with the special help of the many friends of the Philippines among the Japanese people, our two countries may in the future realize a sphere of cultural communion as well as one of co-existence and co-prosperity.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library