Message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to the people of Japan, November 18, 1943.

MY BELOVED PEOPLE OF JAPAN:

This is a message of friendship to the people of the great Japanese nation and of appreciation and gratitude for their traditional hospitality and kindness. This was not the first time that I have been the recipient of Japanese hospitality, and I wish to voice my admiration for the people of Japan and to express the hope that some day and in some manner our people may reciprocate your kindness.

I returned to my beloved native land filled with inspirations and hopes for a greater future for all Oriental countries. Those of us who had the rare privilege to attend the Greater East Asia Congress were thrilled deep into our very hearts by the atmosphere of cordiality and of brotherhood that characterized this gathering of Oriental nations, the first of its kind in recorded history. The progressive principles adopted and enunciated by this Congress, which guarantee to the Oriental nations a future life of happiness and prosperity based on fair dealing and justice, are bound to remould the basis of human relationship not only in Greater East Asia but throughout the world. Just as the East was the cradle of civilization so the East again may be the fountain of a new code of international relations based on moral justice and aimed at the common happiness and prosperity of all the E members. As your Illustrious Premier, General Hideki Tozyo, aptly explained the aims and purposes of the Congress and gave the principles enunciated by the said Congress real substance that every one can grasp and understand, “The nations of Greater East Asia while mutually recognizing their autonomy and independence must, as a whole, establish among themselves relations of brotherly amity Such relations cannot be created if one country should utilize another as a means to an end. I believe that they come into being only when there is mutual respect for one another’s autonomy and independence, when one prospers through another’s prosperity and all countries give expression to their true selves.”

With these as the basic principles on which the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is being established, we may now all, big and small, exert our very best efforts in strengthening the ties that bind the Greater East Asian countries. Great as the influence was of this Congress upon those of us who witnessed and formed a part of it, greater still would be its influence and effect on people everywhere as the accomplishments of this Congress are radiated to all the countries of Greater East Asia and to all parts of the world. The members of the Congress were, we might say, at the center of an ever-widening circle of influence which may be compared to the ripples that reach out and being at the epicenter, we could only appreciate the work of the Congress in a rather limited perspective. But as the members of the Congress return to their lands and propagate the principles adopted by this Congress and give assurance to their peoples of the brotherly spirit of Nippon as the leader-nation of the Greater East Asian countries, the influence of the Congress would be great indeed in enlisting the whole-hearted cooperation of all the member-nations of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and assure the successful accomplishment of the common task in which we are all engaged and in whose successful outcome we are all interested.

I reiterate my firm conviction that in the successful establishment of the Co-Prosperity Sphere lies the happiness and prosperity of all Oriental nations, and my pledge of wholehearted support to the establishment of this comity of eastern nations. I returned, as I said, filled with hopes for a bright future and my heart overflowing with gratitude to the Japanese people.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library