ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL HIDEKI TOJO, REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
By TOJO HIDEKI,
ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY
GENERAL HIDEKI TOJO, REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
November 5, 1943
As the representative of the sponsor nation, I have the privilege to extend to you the sincere greetings of the Japanese Government and to make a statement of their views.
Some time ago, the Japanese Government proposed the convening of an Assembly of Greater East-Asiatic Nations for the purpose of holding frank deliberations on policies relative to bringing the War of Greater East Asia to a successful conclusion and to constructing a new order in Greater East Asia. This proposal, I a happy to say, met with hearty approval on the part of all the countries concerned, and it is with a sense of great pleasure and profound gratitude that today at this gathering I bid welcome to Your Excellencies as representatives of the nations of Greater East Asia. I am also happy to say that this Assembly in honoured by the presence of His Excellency, the Head of the Provisional Government of Free India.
During the past centuries, the British Empire, through fraud and aggression, acquired vast territories throughout the world and maintained its domination over other nations and peoples in the various regions by keeping them pitted and engaged in conflict one against another. On the other hand, the United States which, by taking advantage of the disorder and confusion in Europe, had established its supremacy over the American continents, spread its tentacles to the Pacific and East Asia following its war with Spain. Then, with the opportunities afforded by the First World War, the United States began to pursue its ambition for world hegemony. More recently, with the outbreak of the present war, the United States has further intensified its imperialistic activities and has made fresh inroads into North Africa, West Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, Australia, the Near East and even into India, apparently in an attempt to usurp the place of the British Empire.
The need of upholding international justice and of guaranteeing world peace is habitually stressed by America and Britain. They mean thereby no more and no less than the preservation of a world order of their own, based upon division and conflict in Europe and upon the perpetuation of their colonial exploitation of Asia. They sought to realize their inordinate ambition in Asia through political aggression and economic exploitation; they brought on conflict among the various peoples; they tried to destroy their racial integrity under the fair name of education and culture. Thus, they have to this day threatened constantly the existence of the nations and people of Asia, disturbed their stability, and suppressed their natural and proper development. It is because of their notion to regard East Asia as a colony that they harp upon the principles of the open door and equal opportunity simply as a convenient means of pursuing their sinister designs of aggression. While constantly keeping their own territories closed to us, the peoples of Asia, thus denying us the equality of opportunities and impeding our trade, they sought solely their own prosperity. The Anglo-American ambition of world hegemony is indeed a scourge of mankind and the root of the world’s evils.
Movements for emancipation have occurred from time to time among the nations and peoples of East Asia, but due to the ruthless and tyrannical armed oppression by America and Britain, or due to their malicious old trick of division and alienation for ruling other races, these patriotic efforts ended largely in failure. Meanwhile, Japan’s rise in power and prestige was looked upon by America and Britain with increasing dislike. They made it the cardinal point of their East Asia Policy, on the one hand, to restrain Japan at every turn and on the other, to alienate her from the other countries of East Asia. It was obviously unwise for them to permit either the rise of any one country as a great Power or the banding together of the various nations and peoples. These American and British methods became more and more sinister and high-handed, especially in the last several years.
For example, they made a tool of the Chiang Kai-shek regime and so aggravated Sino-Japanese relations as to lead to the unfortunate China Affair. Furthermore, they resorted to every possible means to obstruct a settlement. Following the outbreak of the commerce under the pretext of wartime necessity and even resorted to the severance of economic relations with Japan, an act tantamount to war. At the same time, they augmented their military preparations in East Asia in an effort to force Japan’s submission. Despite such an attitude on the part of the United States and Britain, Japan, in her desire to prevent war from spreading into East Asia, endeavoured to the last to find a solution by peaceful negotiation. However, the United States and Britain, not only failing completely to manifest an attitude of reflection and mutual concession, but intensifying instead their threats and pressure, endangered the very existence of our nation. Japan at last was compelled to rise in self-defense and to fight for her existence, and thus she accepted the challenge that was hurled against East Asia. Staking her national fortunes, Japan marched forth to battle in order that permanent peace might be established in East Asia.
With the outbreak of the War of Greater East Asia, the Imperial Army and Navy fought with heroin courage under carefully-laid plans and within less than half a year expelled America and Britain from the entire region of East Asia. The various countries of Greater East Asia have either declared war to fight with us, or are closely co-operating for the prosecution of the war to a successful conclusion. Today, the ardour and enthusiasm of the peoples of Greater East Asia have spread throughout our region. With mutual trust and harmony among our nations, we are valiantly marching forward together to secure our existence and to establish permanent stability to Greater East Asia by crushing the counter-offensives of American and Britain.
It is my belief that for all the peoples of Greater East Asia the present war is a decisive struggle upon whose outcome depends their rise or fall. It is only by winning through this war that they may ensure forever their existence in their Greater East-Asian home and enjoy common prosperity and happiness. Indeed, a successful conclusion of this war means the completion of the very task of constructing the new order of Greater East Asia.
The United States and Britain may naturally repeat their counter-offensives against Greater East Asia with all their material might upon which they rely, but we, the nations of Greater East Asia, must summon up our total strength to repel these attacks. We must deal out crushing blows to our enemy and thereby finish the war victoriously and secure to East Asia an enduring peace and stability.
At this moment, Japan is carrying out extensive operation from her position of strategical advantage acquired by her early victories in the war. On the home front, the internal structure, in parallel with these operations, has been steadily improved. Especially through the recent re-organization it has been so adjusted as to meet fully the needs of decisive warfare. Her one hundred million peoples with but a single mind, with a firm conviction in sure victory and with an inflexible fighting spirit are marching forward to triumph in this great war. I firmly believe that the other Greater East Asiatic nations, to shatter the counter-offensives of their age-old enemies, America and Britain by throwing their full weight into the field in concert with the Japanese nation and thereby to secure lasting stability for Greater East Asia.
It is my belief that to enable all nations each to have its proper place and to enjoy the blessings of common prosperity by mutual efforts and mutual help is the fundamental condition for the establishment of world peace. And I must furthermore say that to practice mutual help among closely related nations in one region, fostering one another’s national growth and well-being, and, at the same time, to cultivate relations of harmony and concord with nations of other regions in the most effective and the most practical method of securing world peace.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the nations of Greater East Asia are bound, in every respect, by ties of an inseparable relationship. I firmly believe that such being the case, it is their common mission to secure the stability of Greater East Asia and to construct a new order of common prosperity and well-being.
This new order of Greater East Asia is to rest upon the spirit of justice which is inherent in Greater East Asia. In this respect it is fundamentally different from the old order designed to serve the interests of the United States and Britain who do not hesitate to practice injustice, deception and exploitation in order to promote their own prosperity.
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.
A superior order of culture has existed in Greater East Asia the most sublime in the world. It is my belief that in the wide diffusion throughout the world of this culture of Greater East Asia by its further cultivation and refinement lies the salvation of mankind from the curse of materialistic civilization and our contribution to the welfare of all humanity. It is incumbent upon us all mutually to respect one another’s glorious traditions and to develop the creative spirit and genius of our peoples and thereby to enhance even more the culture of Greater East Asia.
Furthermore, I believe that in order to promote the welfare of the people and to replenish the national power, the nations of Greater East Asia must carry on close economic collaboration on the basis of reciprocity and jointly promote the prosperity of Greater East Asia. Hitherto, for many years, Greater East Asia has been the object of Anglo-American exploitation; henceforth, we must be autonomous and independent in the economic field to gain prosperity by mutually depending on and helping one another.
The new order of Greater East Asia which we are building is not exclusive unto itself. Rather it seeks positively to enter into co-operative relations with the nations of the world, politically, economically and also culturally, and thus contribute to the world’s advancement. How completely different is this from the way of the United States and Britain which, while advocating freedom and equality, oppress and discriminate against other nations and other peoples; and which, while imposing the open door on others, monopolize vast territories of others without compunction and retard the general advancement of the entire world.
The construction of Greater East Asia is being realized with grim steadiness in the midst of war. In contrast, what are America and Britain doing in India? Britain’s oppression of India grows in severity with every passing day. More recently, America’s ambition there has asserted itself and discord and friction between Britain and America on the one hand and the Indian masses on the other are being aggravated; and the Indian people are being subjected to indescribable hardships and tribulations.
The famine of unprecedented magnitude, which such a situation has recently brought about in India, has ever been admitted by Britain and America. All patriots of India are imprisoned, while the innocent masses are imprisoned, while the innocent masses are starving. This is a world tragedy—a calamity of all mankind. The peoples of Greater East Asia could never let it go unattended. Happily, Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose responded to the call of the hour and with hi rose the Indian patriots both within and without their country. Thus was the Provisional Government of Free Indies created and the foundation of Indian independence laid. The Japanese Government have already declared to the world that they will extend every cooperation and assistance for the independence of India. I am confident that the other nations of Greater East Asia will also give whole-heated support for the realization of Indian independence.
By no logic and reason could America and Britain possibly reconcile what they advocate under the so-called Atlantic Charter with what they are actually doing in India. But we are not even surprised at the contradictions between the beautiful signboards which they put up and the evil designs which they harbour within We know too well that deception and camouflage constitute their very nature. However, regardless of what the enemy may do, Japan is determined to follow, together with the other nations of Greater East Asia, the path of justice, to deliver Greater East Asia from the fetters of America and Britain and, in cooperation with her neighbour nations, to strive toward the reconstruction and development of Greater East Asia.
Today, the unity of the countries and peoples of Greater East Asia has been achieved and they have embarked upon the gigantic enterprises of constructing Greater East Asia for the common prosperity of all nations. This surely must be regarded as the grandest spectacle of human effort in modern times.
As regards the situation in Europe, we are very glad that our ally, Germany, has still further solidified her national unity and, with conviction in modern times.
As regards the situation in Europe, we are very glad that our ally, Germany, has still further solidified her national unity and, with conviction in sure victory, is advancing to crush the United States and Britain and to construct a new Europe.
The War of Greater East Asia is truly a war to destroy evil and to make justice manifest. Ours is a righteous cause. Justice knows no enemy and we are fully convinced greater of our ultimate victory.
Japan is grateful to the nations of Greater East Asia for the whole-hearted co-operation which they are rendering in this war. Japan is firmly determined, by cooperating with them and by strengthening her collaboration with her allies in Europe, to carry on with indefatigable spirit and with conviction in sure victory this war, the intensity of which is expected to mount from day to day. Japan, by overcoming all difficulties, will do her full share to complete the construction of Greater East Asia and contribute to the establishment of world peace which is the common mission of us all.