Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact

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November 5, 1943

Monsieur le President, Your Excellencies,
His Majesty’s Government have been happy to accept the invitation extended by the Japanese Government to take part in the present Assembly of Greater East-Asiatic Nations, because His Majesty’s Government are convinced that this Assembly will produce results most beneficial to the prosecution of the War of Great East Asia to its final conclusion as desired as well as to the permanent and ever,-prospering establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. His Excellency Field-Marshal P. Phibun-Songkhram, His Majesty’s President of the Council of Ministers, however, greatly regrets that he is unable to attend the Assembly in person, since the state of his health does not at present permit such a long journey to Tokyo. He has therefore entrusted me with the duty of representing him in this Assembly.
The views of His Majesty’s Government concerning the conduct of the War of Greater East Asia and the establishment of the Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere are that the lines of conduct already practiced, particularly those following upon the principles of Japanese –Thai relationships, are already well-suited. The task to be undertaken is to promote the friendship, the mutual co-operation and the good understanding that already so happily exist to a close degree so as to form one single mental and physical force for bringing to their successful conclusion the prosecution of the war and the establishment of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Greater East Asia.
The reasons, which I would like to bring to the support of what I have stated, are those which I would bring from the history of the development of Greater East Asia. The continent of Asia was the source of human development and had attained the highest degree of development from olden times. Such development is the pure light that shines in the heart of humanity, that urges humanity to look for peace and happiness and is composed of friendship and good-will firmly based on the principle of righteousness. This is the principle of development inherent in the Thai nation that worships Buddhism as the national religion, and such principle of development is also the principle of culture traditionally held by Asiatic nations in general, or to put it in another way, development according to Asiatic traditions is culture. This is recognized by the people of the West as borne out by the saying “ex occidnte lex, ex oriente lux” from the West, law, from the East light.
European development takes another form, namely that of a civilization, which has as its aim the promotion of worldly development, that is to say, the promotion of State and economic power. For this reason, in the modern period of world history, various European nations have expanded from Europe, and more particularly since over a hundred years ago, Great Britain and the United States of America have extended their power to Great East Asia by taking territories in this region, partly as colonies, partly as their exclusive field of exploitation for the acquisition of raw materials for production into manufactured goods and partly as markets for the distribution of their manufactured goods. Consequently, various nations in Greater East Asia had either to lose their independence and their sovereignty, or were subject to limitations placed upon their independence and sovereignty by the regime of extraterritoriality and by unequal treaties, having no reciprocity in accordance with international law. Instead of being a continent composed of political solidarity, Asia had become a mere geographical name.
The distress arising out of such a situation remains fixed in the sentiment and memory of the Greater East-Asiatic nations in general. With profound foresight, the Japanese Empire has seen that progress in the modern world has to depend on the methods of Western civilization, but with reliance on the cultural principle of the East. She has, therefore, modified her form of development to conform to the modern pattern, did away with extraterritoriality and advanced with rapidly to the status of a Great Power Thailand, for her part, has also proceeded in the same manner, and even if it has taken several years, she has, with untiring endeavour, thrown off extraterritoriality and successfully regained her independence and sovereignty. But there are several sister peoples in Asia, who still have to fight to recover their independence and sovereignty, and economically speaking, even with the attainment of complete independence and sovereignty, they have still in practice no liberty to proceed in accordance with the proper requirements of their nations..
In truth, Greater East Asia is a territory abundant in wealth; it has natural resources and industrial localities capable of development so as to make this sphere co-prosperous in accordance with the principle of self-sufficiency. The Japanese Empire had, accordingly, followed the policy of establishing a Co-Prosperity Sphere, abiding by the ideal of justice, righteousness and peace, and had adopted peaceful means in the execution of this policy, such as in the case of the dispute between French Indo-China and Thailand, in which, in order to establish the friendship between the two countries on a basis free from resentment one to the loss of national territory. Thailand had requested the return from France of certain part of the lost territory, the Japanese Government kindly consented to mediate so that an agreement based on justice was reached. The Thai people will never forgets this favour on the part of Japan.
The pursuance by Japan of her policy by peaceful means did not, however, meet with success because of various obstructive obstacles put up by the United States of America and Great Britain. Consequently, the War of Greater East Asia had perforce to break out, and the great and glorious victories achieved by the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces fill the peoples, throughout, Asia with joy, for therein lies the hope of the peoples of Greater East Asia to be able to establish on a solid basis the Co-Prosperity Sphere, in this region.
Thailand, a country which had maintained close relationship with Japan for several hundred years with ties of friendship that have progressively grown tighter and firmer, has well understood the high purpose of Japan, and His Majesty’s Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President of the Council of Ministers, have immediately co-operated as ally of Japan, as shown by the Pact of Alliance concluded with one another with, as its important object, te establishment of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Greater East Asia and the total elimination of the evil influenes which stand as obstacles in the achievement of this aim.The principles laid down in that Pact are, 1) the establishment of an alliance on the basis of mutual respect of each other’s independence and sovereignty, and 2) the rendering of mutual assistance with all the political, economic and military means at each other’s command.
Militarily, the Thai Armed Forces have joined with the Japanese armies in fighting with bravery and stubborn endurance, achieving the desired success. They are now prepared to make sacrifices for the further conduct of the war till final success is attained. Economically, Thailand is already co-operating fully with Japan, and any request she makes of Japan for assistance in this respect is limited only to what is necessary for the maintenance of her economic power in order to conduct the war to a victorious conclusion. Moreover, Thailand has also promoted her national culture so that the Thai people may be inspired with a united and vigorous strength of mind for the benefit of the prosecution of the war, and has concluded a Cultural Agreement with Japan so that the spirit of the two nations may be bound in close co-ordination. The spirit is the special feature inherent in the culture of Asia, and it is this strength of mind that will constitute one of the most important factors in bringing about victory in the war.
Politically, the friendly relations between Thailand and Japan are in a condition of the closest cordiality, having a good understanding of one another. The Japanese Government are large-hearted in sympathizing with Thailand in her aspirations to recover Thai lost territories and to unite the strength of people of Thai race. The Japanese Government have, therefore, concluded a treaty recognizing the incorporation into Thailand of the four States is Malai and the two States in the Shan region. This bears witness to the fact that Japan does not only respect the independence and sovereignty of Thailand, but also promote the solidarity as well as the increased power of Thailand. The Thai Government and the Thai people are most deeply and sincerely grateful to the Japanese Government and the Japanese people.
The goodwill, such as Japan has shown towards Thailand, she has also shown towards the other countries in Greater East Asia as befits each case; for instance, she has assisted in the restoration of complete sovereignty to China, has helped in the establishment of the independence of Manchoukuo, Burma and the Phiippines as well as in the establishment of the Provisional Government of Free India for the purpose of regaining the independence of India. Thailand rejoices at these achievements, and whole-heartedly gives her support, since she has had for a long time past cordial friendly relations as well as cultural ties and good neighbourly relations with all these countries.
Now that Greater East Asia is no longer a mere geographical name but a Co-Prosperity Sphere on a firm basis, the great task before all the Greater East-Asiatic nations is to co-operate with one another in the conduct of the war till absolute success is achieved, each nation contributing all the strength at its command for the permanent establishment in the joint interest of all of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
The principle that will help this region in continued prosperity is the promotion as the highest degree of the power of each country, including material, moral and spiritual power, through respect of each other’s independence and sovereignty, through development of economic relations with one another on the basis of reciprocity and through close co-operation and assistance with one another in conformity with the principle of righteousness and of justice, so as to insure peace, happiness and prosperity of each country and of this region as a whole. In this way, the various Greater East-Asiatic nations will permanently develop in conformity with their own national culture, and will, at the same time, pursue the common object of enhancing the well-being and progress of this Co-Prosperity Sphere. As for the relations between the Greater East-Asiatic nations and the other countries in the world, whether as general amity, in commerce or in culture, reliance should be made on the same principles, more particularly on the principle of respect for independence and sovereignty and that of reciprocity. This will help to make the peace of the world solid and secure.
The Japanese Empire is the nation that leads the way in the adaptation of Asiatic culture as a factor of progress by making use of scientific knowledge and the methods of organization of modern civilization. Thus arose the Co-Prosperity Sphere of Greater East Asia. In the name, therefore, of His Majesty’s Government, I beg here to express our gratification and gratitude.
In conclusion, I beg, in the name of His Excellency Field-Marchal P. Phibun-Songkhram, President of the Council of Ministers of Thailand, to express the very best wishes for the success of the deliberations of this historic Assembly, thereby further increasing the security and prosperity of Greater East Asia.