Speech of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, at the dinner given in honor of His Excellency, Dr. Ba Maw, Head of the Burmese Government, November 19, 1943:

The Philippines has produced a Rizal. Burma has produced a living symbol, a man of courage and energy in the person of our guest of honor, Dr. Ba Maw. He has come from Japan after attending the conference of Greater East Asia nations, the first of its kind ever held in the history of Greater East Asia, in fact, in the history of human civilization. I have the strongest and most sincere admiration for our guest of honor. He spoke there, and I spoke there. The leaders of Greater East Asia spoke there. Premier Hideki Tozyo spoke there. And we 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. And as I see Dr. Ba Maw now, the sovereign head of an independent Burmese Government, I cannot but give this modest token of appreciation and admiration for him in the presence of the highest representatives of the Imperial Japanese Government here and in the presence of my collaborators in this Government. I admire him for his heroic work of leading Burma, for his deep interest in the work of reconstruction that will follow later, as well as for his great work in cooperating with Japan and the other nations of Greater East Asia. I understand that everyday bombs are falling in Burma, and that the Burmese people are suffering; yet heroically and with determination, they are willing to endure greater hardships and suffering, not only that they may stand this crucial test and enjoy lasting independence and freedom, but so that the defense of Burma may be sufficiently strengthened to insure the independence and freedom of the other peoples of Greater East Asia.

Gentlemen, may I ask you to rise and toast to the health and the notable achievements attained by the people of Burma under the leadership of a great statesman, a great patriot, His Excellency, Dr. Ba Maw.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library