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Address of His Excellency Chang Ching-hui

By Chang Ching-hui,

Address of His Excellency Chang Ching-hui,
Prime Minister of the Empire of Manchuria
November 5, 1943
I am very happy, as representative of the government of the Empire of Manchuria, to be given an opportunity of having an audience and exchanging unreserved opinions with key members from the governments of Asian countries. I feel this meeting is all the more pleasant because it is being held in just the nick of time. We are full of hope in the midst of a war, making up our mind to fight through this ordeal.
I am very grateful to the government of the Empire of Japan for holding this historic meeting and at the same time cannot help but pay deep respect to His Excellency Prime Minister Tojo and those other leaders representing the respective countries, who, at this most critical juncture, are making every effort to attend to state affairs, working hard, from morning till night, enjoying the trust of their people.
The battle line now extends over thousands of miles. We are ready to support you from the bottom of our hearts as your supporter from the front-line, considering that fierce struggles are under way with Americans and Britons, our enemy. Representing my country, I express my thanks to those officers and men for their brave fighting…
Since the Greater Asian War broke out, the Imperial Army and Navy of Japan have made marked military achievements, standing unchallenged in the history of war. They have already beaten and driven out American and British forces. In fact, our enemies invaded Asian nations for years, eager to promote their own prosperity, sacrificing that of Asia. Most surprisingly, Japan’s success made it possible for Burma and the Philippines to achieve independence in less than two years. Now, Asian races are increasingly fulfilling their potential. They have hope for the future and are recovering their vitality, which they once lost to American and British imperialism.
We Asian nations have long waited for the coming of the day when we will recover our glory. Suppressed and deceived by American and British forces, how we have wished we could liberate ourselves! And now we see our meager wish being achieved, owed to the consistently moralistic policies and the executive ability of the Great Empire of Japan. We can expect that it will not be long before the entirety of Asia consists of independent and liberated countries, under the name of Greater East Asia.
To my great joy, I am now meeting with this golden opportunity. But on the other hand, taking into consideration those brave people from many countries who, in the
cause of the Liberation of Asia, fell on the battlefield, I find it all but impossible to hold back my tears.
Now I am looking back over the foundation of the country of Manchuria, ten years ago, as the first country ever founded which is confident of being Asian in the true sense of the word. Deeply excited, I feel proud of our new country.
Luckily, I too took part in the foundation with irresistible passion. I am reminded that what was missing in Manchuria at that time was a political system based on moral justice. That is why the public has not been organized toward any idealistic goal. The land was devastated and the people were randomly and lawlessly exploited. The military clique played feudal politics and imposed heavy, unjust taxes. In fact, such a situation was nothing but a symbol of ill-treated Asia, which was without any freedom or creativity.
It was the militaristic clique of Zhang Xueliang that practically assumed control of the district of Manchuria, cruelly squeezing the people. The dictator was inspired by Americans and Britons with their policy to disturb Asia, which led him to be hostile to Japan. Japan decisively launched a counterattack until, at last, the Zhang government broke down. As a result, it was no wonder that thirty million people got together to give support to the new country of morality and autonomy. They knew the new government had a doubtless and firm intention of making much of the welfare of the people and the development of the land.
Manchuria was a district where all international powers wanted to establish their influence and disturbed each other, so much so that it constituted a grave menace to the peace and safety of Asia. In view of the history of the district of Manchuria, we were determined to make it a strong and righteous country. Of course, it should act on the basis of traditional Asian morality and be conscious of the new Asia. That is the way the birth of this country has been and is of great help to the stability of all of Asia.
It is up to each of the Asian nations to come back to traditional Asian morality and devote themselves to the development of global culture and civilization. Just as any European nation should exist independently as a European nation and any North and South American nation as an American nation, so should each and every Asian country be looked up to as an Asian country. Then we will be able to make a contribution to the future of the human race. And only when we have fulfilled this responsibility of ours can we be said to have submitted to Heaven’s will. As long as Asian people are confident and proud that we are Asians, such a dream will cease to be a dream and become a historical necessity. No one can prevent Asia from going ahead this way.
And yet, the United States and the British Empire, which hoped Asian people
would be kept blind to their own miserable situation, prompted the League of Nations, their puppet institution, to spike our wheel. On the other hand, they instigated the Chiang Kai-shek government, then located in Nanking, to obstruct our plans, taking all manner of measures to disturb us.
Japan spent a great deal of money and sacrificed a number of lives so that it could drive out the Zhang Xueliang military puppet government. No one in the world would refuse to give Japan the credit for this achievement. Nonetheless, Asia’s leader didn’t harbor any territorial ambitions, helping us to become independent and autonomous. This fact leaves an impression on our nation. We will never forget Japan’s sincerity.
There is more to it than that. Japan supported our independence and advocated building a New Order of Asia. When the League of Nations raised an objection, Japan bolted from the international institution with unshaken conviction, striking the entire world dumb.
Taking these circumstances into consideration, we can well say that, by the foundation of the country of Manchuria, we have taken our first powerful step toward the completion of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, now already under construction.
As to the achievements of the newly established country of Manchuria during the first ten years, the entire world is paying special attention. I am taking advantage of this occasion to explain several basic problems regarding our achievement.
The first is the friendly relation among the races. In our country of Manchuria, there are many races, including Japanese, Manchurian, Mongolian and others, living in peace and stability. Traditionally, when more than one race lived together, it was usual that one race controlled and exploited others. In Manchuria, however, each of the races is able to display its own ability and play an important part in carrying out the idealistic goals of the country. Our principle of friendly coexistence is far from that of exploitation of American and English imperialism. Surprisingly enough, our principle coincides with the spirit of the foundation of the Japanese Empire to put all nations within their proper stations and, however large the population is, let every citizen have his due. We can get a glimpse of this spirit when we consider the means to achieve coexistence and co-prosperity of all of Asia.
The second is the defense of the northern boundary. Naturally, we need to defend the border of the country. But at the same time, we must not forget that the northern border of Manchuria is synonymous with the northern boundary of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. If we are to establish the Co-Prosperity Sphere, to defend the border of Manchuria means to defend the boundary of the
Co-Prosperity Sphere. Thus, the country of Manchuria has no choice but to become the northernmost fortress of all of Asia. From the beginning, Manchuria has believed the defense of the northern boundary to be one of our most important missions. That is why we concluded a military treaty with Japan, completely prepared to fight off any invader. I declare that you can be at perfect ease in this respect. We are now determined to fully live up to all of your expectations now and in the future.
The third is the stabilization of the life of the people and the training of a strong and righteous people. No sooner had the country been founded that the government standardized the monetary system, which had been complicated and thought to be difficult to deal with. As a result, prices have been stabilized and the people are able to enjoy their lives. At the same time, we made every effort to maintain public peace and order. At the time of the foundation of the country, the land was infested with three thousand bandits. Now there are few, if any, such people seen anywhere in the territory. In addition, the military system was built up last year. We organized our brave and mighty armed forces, which are equipped with modernized weapons. The armed forces, combined with an excellent police system, enable the people to live happy lives and to devote themselves to their work.
On the other hand, we established a volunteer system in which people can work for the government. We also took measures to promote the development of education, trying every means available to train the people. Thus we have succeeded in helping people realize their citizenship and pay due respect to diligence. I believe we are bringing up young people who are true to the name of the people of the new Asia. Such youngsters are rapidly increasing in number. The appearance of this excellent young generation is, needless to say, of great help in carrying out the current war. It is also certain to make a great contribution to the development of the country of Manchuria in the future.
Lastly, what is most important is the development of industry. In the fifth year of the foundation of the country, the government began to bring into effect a five-year plan of industrial development. Overcoming all manner of difficult conditions, we successfully accomplished the aim of the plan the year before last. And we entered upon work to carry out a second five-year plan last year. In time of war, what is given top priority are heavy industrial resources, including iron, coal and nonferrous metals. We can add to the list light metals, chemical industrial resources and electricity energy. Manchuria has already made great advances in these areas, comparing favorably with any other country in the world.
What about agricultural products? Manchuria is originally an agricultural
country. That is why we are attaching more and more importance to agriculture. A systematic production increase is under way, so much so that it is very likely that Manchuria will be one of Asia’s most important sources of food. Now, we have already begun to obtain excellent results.
Now I give some figures. The scale of national finances was, at the time of the foundation of the country, two hundred seventy million or so yen. It has rapidly expanded by sixteen times in ten years. It now exceeded four billion and four hundred and fifty million. Railway mileage has been lengthened from six thousand kilometers to twelve thousand. The number of elementary school students increased from half million to two and a half million.
Let me talk about production increases. The output of coal has grown by four times and that of pig iron by five times. It is no exaggeration to say that we have pulled off a coup. At the same time, we are also improving sanitary facility arrangements for the people. Take opium poisoning for instance. Americans and Britons introduced opium into our district so that they could use it as a means to conquer Asia. Now everybody knows that this is inhumane. At the time of the foundation of the country, there were one million and three hundred thousand people addicted to opium. Since then, the number of addicts has decreased a great deal and it will not be long before we can completely abolish this horrible habit.
As the one responsible for the government, I am always wondering whether I have made enough efforts and feel ashamed of my insufficient achievements. And yet, I can pride myself on the prosperity of my country. We owe this happiness to the chivalrous spirit with which Imperial Japan constantly give us their support. Considering how our country came into existence, it is natural that Japan and Manchuria have been bound together by friendship. Actually, the Imperial Houses on both sides have warm feelings for each other, setting an example for their subjects.
It is Japan’s generous support that has made possible our development for the last ten years without parallel in history. We are at a loss as to how to requite their kindness. All we can do is to back-up the fighting forces in the Greater Asian War.
Next, I would like to express myself as to the measures we should take to build up the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. As I’ve already mentioned, our country Manchuria was founded in order to liberate Asia and establish a new order. We are very eager, in every way and on every occasion, to contribute to achieving this purpose.
As I have already mentioned, our relationship with the countries in the Co-prosperity Sphere is as indivisible as that with the Great Empire of Japan.
Formerly, His Excellency, Prime Minister Wang, leader of the newly born China,
established the Nanking (Nanjing) government of the Nationalist Party (Kuomingtang), thus paving the way toward a great cause. This made it possible for Japan, China and Manchuria to issue the tripartite joint declaration, which stipulated that the three countries should form the best of neighborly relations. Moreover, we succeeded in entering into close diplomatic relations with Thailand. And after the China Incident developed into the Greater Asian War, Burma and the Philippines barely became independent when we accorded recognition to both countries. We are sure that our friendship will grow with these countries. There are six independent countries in Asia. Now a seventh, the Provisional Government of Free India, can be added to this list. It can safely be said that Asia is in full flourish, there being no historical similarity. Now is the time for all of Asia to band together, to prepare to share fate with one another. Only when we have made such a resolution can we hope to achieve our aim of establishing the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
It was high time that Asia decided to rise to action. Shouldn’t we pay attention to the four hundred million people of India, who are groaning under the tyranny of Britons and Americans? I express my sympathy for them and, at the same time, pray that the Chongqing (Chungking) government, the orphan of Asia, may reflect on its conduct in the past, setting itself on the right track in the cause of the restoration of Asia.
What course should we Asians choose from now onward? The imperialism of Americans and Britons has left many remarkable traces of their cruelties everywhere in Asia. It is our responsibility to erase such traces and abolish all manners of colonialism. We should be fully develop into what the heaven intends us to be. In other words, it is important to become friendly with nations that respect humanity and love right and justice. Let’s go hand in hand with them so that we can take part in the proper development and advancement of the entire world.
Now we have reassuring comrades in Europe. Many Axis powers, including Germany, are fighting bravely for the same aims as ours. We are eagerly looking forward to the day when our friends will obtain victory. Then, there will be established a European new order, harmonizing with that of Asia.
Look at the anti-Axis countries. While they are fighting together against us, they have no trust among themselves, thinking of nothing but advantages and disadvantages. Such has been always the case in traditional international relations. What we are aiming for is quite different. Our new relationship among Asian countries will be based on what can be compared to the bond of family, which derives from Asian tradition. Keep in mind that all Asians are brothers. That’s why I believe we should make a vow to enter into moralistic and permanent diplomatic relations.
It is true that each Asian countries can make much of their own tradition and characteristic qualities and base their life on them, as long as they respect those of other countries. But on the other hand, Asian countries are required to go a step further and help one another, cooperating in all fields, political, economic or cultural, so that they can contribute to the progress and development of Asia in its entirety. In other words, we should balance our mutual merits against faults.
Consider what a national boundary is like. Western people regard it as a line you are not allowed to cross. However, Asian people consider a national boundary to be the line across which people from its either side contract creative friendship. Traditional national boundaries are to blame for preventing cultural and personnel interchange. Such barriers should be removed as soon as possible.
The establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is under way. It means not just the reconstruction of a brilliant, old Asia but rather the creation of a new Asia. On this account, each Asian countries has to prepare to meet the needs of the times, becoming conscious of the needs of the times and building up national strength.
In this speech I have already referred to gigantic construction, both material and spiritual, which the district of Manchuria has never seen before. This is related to the things previously mentioned.
In the eighty-first session of the Japanese Imperial Diet, in January this year, I remember that His Excellency Prime Minister Tojo, while making a speech on his administrative policies, said in a loud voice, “Look at the development and prosperity of Manchuria today. Tomorrow we can see another and still another Manchuria throughout Asia.” How can I express how I was moved and the sympathy I felt at that moment?
Let me talk about the tide of the war. At the early stage of the war, our enemy, Americans and Britons, being defeated thoroughly, evacuated from Asia on a massive scale, which awoke the Asian races in general. Now Asians are making great strides toward the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. But, on the other hand, Americans and Britons are challenging us with of their all of their might. The war situation has become more and more severe.
In fact, this war is the latest but the largest of their attempts, which they have repeatedly made in the past, to invade Asia. The heavens are about to give us a chance, to give substance to the dream of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, for which we have been anxious. We should waste no time taking action. Remain an idle onlooker, and the opportunity will slip through our fingers forever. Don’t forget that
the fate of all of Asia depends upon how we now conform our determination. Our urgent duty is, therefore, to prepare for total war. Whatever resources we can afford, material or manpower, should be devoted to the war. Anything can be turned into a weapon. All the people in Asia should be united in body and dash at the Americans and Britons.
Asia is richer in natural resources than any other part of the world, and its population is no less than one billion. Let these people summon up all of their might and make most of these natural resources. They can engage themselves in construction at the same time fight battles. Victory in the construction war will lead to victory in the real war. No one doubts that Asian people stand at an advantage over Americans and Britons. We will win in the end.
Directly after the outbreak of the Greater Asian War, His Majesty the Emperor of Manchuria admonished His subjects to make every effort to cooperate with the Empire of Japan and fight to the bitter end, sharing our fate with our next-door neighbor. In obedience to His gracious message, we Manchurians, officials and civilians, have made up our minds to martyr ourselves and sacrifice everything in order to carry out our task, of defending the northern boundary. Now, our determination is increasingly becoming inflexible. The goddess of victory is with us Asians. I swear on oath that, in concert with Asian countries, Manchuria will do all it can to achieve the sacred purpose of establishing the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.