Speech of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, at a dinner given in honor of Japanese and Filipino officials, October 16, 1943.

YOUR EXCELLENCIES, GENTLEMEN:

Permit me to thank you most profoundly for honoring this occasion with your presence this evening. This joint gathering of people from Japan, the Philippines and other nations is a proof and at the same time a symbol of the mutual understanding and harmony that have developed between Japan and the Philippines and those other countries who sympathize with the great Japanese Empire in the liberation of Asiatic peoples and the establishment in this part of the globe of countries which are independent and which could help one another so that they may live a life of their own and the life that they aspire to live to the glory of the entire mankind.

I cannot help recalling on this occasion the supreme efforts Japan has exerted, the untold sacrifices many Japanese have had to make in order to help the reconstruction of the Philippines and finally with the help of the Filipinos themselves to establish a government here that will promote the peace, the security, and the happiness of the eighteen million Filipinos and with the happiness of the eighteen million Filipinos the sympathy likewise of Japan and of the other countries of Greater East Asia.

As we rejoice over the early realization of our national ideal, we feel deeply conscious of the duties, and the responsibilities that rest on our shoulders. We are glad that peace and order have been sufficiently restored that we a may now dedicate ourselves to the greater task of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

With mutual understanding, unity and friendship binding our peoples and the friendship and amity that will bind likewise not only Japan and the Philippines but the other countries of Greater East Asia and with our determination to go ahead until the final goal is achieved, namely, the emancipation of oppressed Oriental peoples and the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, there is no reason to doubt Your Excellencies and gentlemen, why the Filipinos will not succeed in establishing a government here, a Republic that will be a credit to the Filipinos, and not only a credit to the Filipinos, but also a glory to Japan and a glory to the entire mankind. We therefore look to the future with confidence and with determination.

As the President of the Republic of the Philippines I am fully conscious of the great responsibilities of proving to the world our capacity and with me are the able Filipino statesmen who will be called upon to share the responsibilities of bringing about this great undertaking. There is no doubt, there is no reason, I repeat, why the Filipinos will not succeed in this great and common enterprise of establishing a new world order in this part of the globe to accomplish the supreme aspiration of the enlightened peoples in other parts of the world that a new world order based on peace and liberty and moral justice and ethical principles may be established not only in Greater East Asia but all over the world so that humanity may not suffer but instead may be glorified.

Gentlemen, with these few remarks may I thank you most heartily as President of the new Republic of the Philippines for your kindness in coming this evening in response to my invitation and may I ask you to raise your glasses and drink to the glory of the Champion of the Orient, the Great Empire of Japan, to common understanding, to universal peace and brotherhood so that the people all over the world may live in concord after the realization of their aims in this war that is called a sacred war because it is a war intended for liberation and the establishment of a new order based on peace, based on liberty, and based on the eternal principle of moral justice.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library