Remarks of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on the draft of the Joint Declaration of the Greater East Asia Congress on November 6, 1943.

MR. CHAIRMAN, YOUR EXCELLENCIES:

I desire to express my profound gratitude for this opportunity of participating in the consideration of this ever-pervading important document which, I expect, will be unanimously approved by the representatives of the East Asia nations here present.

Mr. Chairman, the resolution which you have just read and explained in a vigorous and clear manner so characteristically yours, in my opinion, expresses the ideals and aspirations of the peoples of Greater East Asia and, therefore, merits the immediate and unanimous approval of this august Assembly.

If I may be permitted to say so, by this Joint Declaration we do not hurl any challenge against the entire world; we are not adopting an arrogant attitude to provoke the pride of proud peoples of the world. No! By this resolution, we are affirming the existence and personality of the peoples of Greater East Asia; by this resolution, we are disclosing to the world the cause of the great conflict now raging; by this resolution, we are enumerating the great and sublime purposes of the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; and, by this resolution, we are legitimately expressing, Mr. Chairman and Your Excellencies, the determination of one billion Orientals to carry on and fight this war to a successful conclusion so that there may thereafter be universal peace; so that there may be prosperity and enlightment not only m Greater East Asia but all over the world.

Will you allow me, Mr. Chairman, to express the hope on this occasion that by the adoption of this resolution, we shall be adopting, as the Representative from China has expressed, not a Monroe Doctrine, the doctrine which has served merely to protect and expand the interests of America in neighboring regions, nor a doctrine similar to that by which the European balance of power is maintained, but a charter that will illumine the entire world and eliminate the obstacles for the establishment and maintenance of universal brotherhood.

We are determined to fight racial discrimination so that with its elimination and the propagation of Oriental culture, and through mutual cooperation, we may, Mr. Chairman, and Excellencies, proclaim to the entire world the advent of a glorious day not only for Asia but for the whole world and the entire mankind.

And so, Mr. Chairman, I am more than happy to be here in this great Empire and be able, as the humble Representative of the small Republic of the Philippines, to vote for the approval of this resolution so that the world may be happy and happier, and so that the peace of Asia may be achieved and made to last, not for today or tomorrow, but throughout all the ages.

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PHILIPPINE REPRESENTATIVE:

Your Excellency, as President of the Republic of the Philippines and Representative at this august Assembly, I have the singular honour and privilege to second the proposal presented on this occasion that His Excellency Premier Hideki Tojo be made the Chairman and the presiding officer of this convention.

In making this proposition, seconding that made by the Representative of Thailand, I believe it is not only because we feel towards His Excellency the affection to which he is entitled from us, but also because of the leadership assumed by him not only of the great Japanese Empire but all the peoples of Greater East Asia, that it is fitting and proper that we should join together in nominating him and making him the President of this great Assembly.

Carried unanimously.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library