The Official Month

AGREEING with two statements of General Hideki Tozyo, Premier of Japan, that “the nations of Greater East Asia, while mutually recognizing their autonomy and independence, must, as a whole, establish among themselves relations of brotherly amity,” and that the spiritual essence of the culture of Greater East Asia must be developed and refined in order that mankind might be saved from the clutches of a materialistic civilization, the delegates to the Greater East Asia Congress held from November 5 to 6, 1943— President Jose P. Laurel, the representative of the Republic of the Philippines, among them—unanimously approved on November 6 in Tokyo, Japan, a Joint Declaration.

THE Joint Declaration as adopted envisions the stability of every East Asian nation, the construction of an order of common prosperity and well-being based upon justice, the respect of each member-nation’s sovereignty and independence, mutual assistance and amity; respect of each nation’s traditions and development of the faculties of each race; the acceleration of economic development upon a basis of reciprocity and the promotion of the general prosperity of their region; and the abolition of racial discrimination and the promotion of cultural intercourse throughout the world.

IT was these basic principles that impelled President Laurel upon his arrival in Manila from the Congress to say that the Joint Declaration, judged as a whole or taken separately is a notable instrument, a great human charter. Asked the President: “Why should there not be a sphere of common prosperity, a league of independent states bound together by racial, cultural, and geographical ties, and governed in their dealings by the spirit of brotherhood and the principles of moral justice? Why should not the nations of East Asia live harmoniously with each other on a broad basis of mutual respect of one another’s sovereignty and independence? Is there any better way than this? Why cannot the East, the cradle of human civilization, enhance its own culture and once again shed light to all the world? Closely cooperating with one another on the basis of reciprocity, should not the economic development of the entire sphere bring about the prosperity of all? And, what else could be more desirable than equality among God’s creatures, the abolition of racial discrimination, and with it and through it, progress, peace and harmony among all the peoples of the earth?”

IT was the same basic principles which also prompted him at the dinner he gave in honor of His Excellency, Subhas Chandra Bose, Head of the Provisional Government of India on November 23 to recall that at the Greater East Asia Congress the delegates “uttered only one voice—the voice of Asia; meaning, the liberation of oppressed Asian peoples and the unification of the peoples of Greater East Asia.” In reply, Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose linked the destiny of India with the destiny of Asia. He said, “the individual often must die if the nation has to live. And speaking for ourselves, we feel every day and every moment of our lives that who lives if India dies, who dies if India lives? That is the feeling that inspires us today and will inspire us tomorrow. We are prepared for a long and hard struggle . . . We are conscious at last of our historic part which India and the Indian people have to fulfill for themselves and for Asia and for India.”

FURTHER strengthening the relations of Japan with the Philippines, Ambassador to the Philippines Syozo Murata on November 29 presented his Letter of Credence to President Laurel. In his note verbale, the Japanese Ambassador said: Being conscious of the honor bestowed upon me as the first Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, I am firmly determined to exert my best efforts for the complete execution of the Five Basic Principles (of the Joint Declaration) and the Pact of Alliance, with a view to promoting friendship and concord between our two countries, contributing in this manner to the establishment of Greater East Asia.” For his part, President Laurel declared that the norms of conduct inherent in the Five Basic Principles, “particularly the principle of respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty and the principle of economic cooperation upon the basis of reciprocity, shall guide my Government in its relations with all nations, and shall, I am certain, encourage my people to develop that confidence in their own powers and that faith in their own destiny which alone can make them sincere and diligent builders of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

THE other highlight in this month’s happenings is the exposition of national unity by the President when speaking at the New Luneta, Manila, on National Heroes’ Day he beseeched his countrymen to follow the object-lessons taught by Filipino heroes and martyrs. These are: (1) to love the native land, (2) to love each other, (3) to help in the reconstruction of the Philippines. “Now, of all times, we must help one another so that the Republic of the Philippines can survive,” he said. Comparing the independent Philippines to a tree planted by Filipino heroes, President of Asia; meaning, the liberation of oppressed Asian peoples and the unification of the peoples of Greater East Asia.” In reply, Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose linked the destiny of India with the destiny of Asia. He said, “the individual often must die if the nation has to live. And speaking for ourselves, we feel every day and every moment of our lives that who lives if India dies, who dies if India lives? That is the feeling that inspires us today and will inspire us tomorrow. We are prepared for a long and hard struggle . . . We are conscious at last of our historic part which India and the Indian people have to fulfill for themselves and for Asia and for India.”

FURTHER strengthening the relations of Japan with the Philippines, Ambassador to the Philippines Syozo Murata on November 29 presented his Letter of Credence to President Laurel. In his note verbale, the Japanese Ambassador said: “Being conscious of the honor bestowed upon me as the first Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, I am firmly determined to exert my best efforts for the complete execution of the Five Basic Principles (of the Joint Declaration) and the Pact of Alliance, with a view to promoting friendship and concord between our two countries, contributing in this manner to the establishment of Greater East Asia.” For his part, President Laurel declared that the norms of conduct inherent in the Five Basic Principles, “particularly the principle of respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty and the principle of economic cooperation upon the basis of reciprocity, shall guide my Government in its relations with all nations, and shall, I am certain, encourage my people to develop that confidence in their own powers and that faith in their own destiny which alone can make them sincere and diligent builders of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

THE other highlight in this month’s happenings is the exposition of national unity by the President when speaking at the New Luneta, Manila, on National Heroes’ Day he beseeched his countrymen to follow the object-lessons taught by Filipino heroes and martyrs. These are: (1) to love the native land, (2) to love each other, (3) to help in the reconstruction of the Philippines. “Now, of all times, we must help one another so that the Republic of the Philippines can survive,” he said. Comparing the independent Philippines to a tree planted by Filipino heroes, President Laurel propounded the duties all Filipinos must render to their country. “What we should do is to take care of that tree, pull the weeds, keep away roving animals, especially now that it is bearing fruit. The duty of all Filipinos is never to permit the tree to die, remembering always that it grew in structure by the sweat and blood of our heroes.” He appealed to his” countrymen to help those who are at the head of the government to make the Republic lasting and real. “We who have been chosen to lead the country,” he said, “ask nothing of you but your cooperation; we should join forces and pull together. We should not divide. We should feed the hungry, instead of depriving them of food.”

His message read at the memorial service in honor of Filipino heroes held at the Mount Samat Cemetery, Bataan, on the same date carried a similar sentiment.

DEEPLY believing in the idea that independent nationhood would be meaningless and illusory if the Filipinos refused to work out their economic salvation, President Laurel issued Ordinances Nos. 1 and 2. The first deals with the control of the distribution of rice and corn, while the second provides for the cultivation of all available lands for the production of food crops. As supplements to the two ordinances, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce issued Ministry Orders Nos. 32 33, 34 and 35, all of which refer to the control and distribution of such essential commodities as rice and its by-products ; corn and its by-products, tiki-tiki, mongo peanut, and fresh coconuts and the territorial application of Ordinance No. 1. The Kalibapi, as part of its food production drive, issued General Circular No. 12-2, a plan to devote home yards and rice lands after harvest to a cultivation of corn and root crops like camote, gabi, and tugi; fruits, beans, and vegetables in season.

PUTTING into effect his often repeated desire to perfect the administrative organization of the Government, President Laurel appointed Guillermo B. Francisco as Vice-Minister of Home Affairs and Director of the Constabulary, Dr. Gabriel Mañalac as Acting Minister of Education, Health, and Public Welfare, Jose G. Sanvictores as Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Horrilleno as Justice of the Supreme Court, Arsenio Luz as Acting Assistant I Director-General of the Kalibapi, Juan L. Lanting as Director of the Bureau of 1 Employment, and Manuel D. Sumulong as I Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library