Remarks of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, before the representatives of foreign communities who called on him on the afternoon of October 16, 1943, at 5 o’clock.

GENTLEMEN:

I am highly inspired by your visit and I extend to you all a most hearty welcome. Your presence here this afternoon is proof of the warm friendship that binds your peoples and the people of the Philippines. It is very encouraging.

No one can appreciate better than I the joyous spirit you have manifested on the occasion of the birth of the Republic of the Philippines.

As head of the State, I am fully conscious of the great responsibilities that rest on my shoulders to prove to the world that the Filipinos are worthy of this great honor which Japan has so magnanimously bestowed on us. I am likewise fully conscious that the success of the newly born Republic as a member of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will depend, to a great extent, on the harmonious relations that we can maintain with other countries, particularly with our Oriental neighbors that are already members of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

With the mutual understanding, amity, and friendship binding us together, there is no reason why we cannot make a huge success of our common enterprise of establishing a New Order in this part of the world that can insure peace, happiness, and moral justice to the peoples of East Asia.

In one way or another you have all helped the Philippines, whether in the maintenance of peace and order, in the task of reconstruction or rehabilitation, or in the struggle for independence. Many of you, who have lived long in this country, have been constantly contributing to the prosperity and welfare of the Philippines. The Filipino people are grateful to you.

As we forge ahead in the management of our affairs, we shall need your continued support, sympathy, and cooperation and we trust sincerely that you will not deprive us of that friendship so essential to the success of the new Republic and to the happiness and prosperity of our people.

Gentlemen, I thank you profoundly for this visit and I hope you will not hesitate to call again when you think I can be of service to you.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library