Statement issued by the Imperial Japanese Army in connection with the release of prisoners, who violated military laws, October 25, 1943:

The independence of the Philippines, which the 18,000,000 people could not forget even in their dreams, has been attained, and the Republic of the Philippines has risen on the Pacific in the spotlight of the century.

As the leader of the League of East Asian peoples, and as the nursing mother of the New Philippines, the Empire of Japan is indeed filled with joy too great to be aptly described in words. With purest feelings, the Japanese nation extends felicitations to the new-born Philippines, and prays for its healthy development and growth.

Upon beholding the Republic of the Philippines rise majestically as a nation for and of Filipinos and as a dependable member of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan regards her efforts and sacrifices in driving the Anglo-Americans out of East Asia well rewarded.

However, upon retrospecting on the events of the past two years of occupation, the conditions in the Philippines cannot be said to have been perfectly ideal. Many of your people could not break the spell of materialism, liberalism, and fleeting pleasures injected into your minds during the 40 odd years of American colonization.

These people secretly prayed for the return of the Americans, refused to cooperate with the Japanese, spread false information with the purpose of alienating the Filipinos from the Japanese, and, furthermore, joined guerrilla bands or spied against the Japanese. These various forms of resistance, must be admitted and it must be confessed that they were deplorable.

Although it has been the policy of the Empire of Japan to show consideration and understanding to the peoples in occupied lands, such antagonists who chose to align themselves with the foe of Japan were punished in accordance with the Martial Law, which is stern, but just.

Among the violators of the Martial Law, however, a good many have shown signs of understanding the true intentions of the Imperial Japanese Army as time wore on, and awakened to the fact that they are East Asians.

Those whose sincerity in repentance of their past misdeeds and whose enthusiasm and eagerness to do their utmost for the creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and the up-building of the new-born Republic of the Philippines were, beyond doubt, what the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army has freed or reduced their sentences twice on the occasion of national holidays of Japan.

In commemoration of the birth of the Filipino nation, the Imperial Japanese Army, furthermore, wishes to present to the Republic of the Philippines as a gift, released prisoners, who are eager to serve their country and Greater East Asia. These men have been selected from among those who committed crimes under circumstances deserving sympathy, those who deeply repent their past mistakes, and those whose conduct in prison has been of praise.

Those who have been freed, and those whose terms were shortened, it is sincerely hoped, will continuously retrospect and introspect and devote themselves to the construction and growth of the new Philippines.

The Republic of the Philippines, on the other hand, is requested to understand the purpose of the Imperial Japanese Army in granting amnesty, and unite and lead the entire nation in accomplishing the titanic task of building up the Republic.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library