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World War II: Tojo's Broadcast on the Prosecution of the Greater East Asia War

(July 27, 1942)

Osaka, July 27, 1942

Truly seven months have passed since the beginning of the Greater East Asia war and the people have reaffirmed their conviction of ultimate victory more than ever. I am happy to be given the privilege to speak to you intimately at this time. To begin with, 11 years have passed since the outbreak of the Manchurian Incident, and during this period we have overcome various difficulties and surmounted obstacles through the Manchurian Incident, the China Continent, and moreover the various fronts in Greater East Asia, the various changes in the Pacific, the prosecution of the war today, and in the extension of the Imperial Crown as far as our eye can reach. At this time, I join with you in expressing my heartfelt appreciation to the indomitable fighting spirit and superiority of the men and officers of the Imperial forces that are accounting for repeated and successive victories and in offering our reverent respects to the souls of the war dead who have passed away during the performance of their duties in the furtherance of Greater East Asia. It is truly encouraging to know that you are surmounting all difficulties under war-time living conditions by uniting in spirit with the fighting men and that you are extending your full support in the performance of your public duties, and I should like to express my sincere congratulations again on this occasion to the people throughout the nation for their earnest efforts and enthusiasm to endure through all difficulties.

Now if I should speak in connection with the recent war situation, as for the China front, in order to completely crush the Chungking government, our forces have swiftly annihilated the Chungking troops in the Chekiang and Kiangsi provinces, and besides occupying the Kiangsi-Chekiang railway line which is the center of opposition today, our forces have positively closed the railway line which was the only life line route of transporting material for the Chungking forces. Our forces have also crushed the communist troops that have been operating in the various areas of Chekiang, Mongolia, north China and Inner China. Here then our forces are extending their fullest efforts at the same time in construction work and in the preservation of peace and order. In regard to South China, in concert with the above, our forces are inflicting a mortal blow upon the enemy forces. The Nanking Government, under the leadership of Wang Ching Wei, is extending full cooperation with our government with true understanding and is steadily going forward in completing its governmental structures. The Nanking government has destroyed the value of old fahpei and is truly achieving a remarkable record. This means the strengthening of the Nanking government day by day and the direct or indirect cooperation with our country in the prosecution of the war is being clearly shown. I have no words to express my sincere felicitations to the Nanking government. In contrast to this, the power resistance of the Chungking government has declined and the possibilities of aid from America and Britain have been destroyed by our Imperial forces. Furthermore, the atmosphere of internal turmoil is becoming deeper. I can say that it is only a natural consequence for any country that refuses to understand the just cause of the establishment of the Greater East Asia to end in destruction. The leaders of the Chungking government have not reflected upon themselves the just cause and are still serving America and Britain as (tools) by guiding the Chinese masses to offer useless resistance. Although recently there are signs of a back current, the evil guidance of the leaders can never be forgiven. For a just cause, our country is effecting a great consolidation and will see through to the bitter end until our objective is attained. Now in regard to America and Britain our Imperial forces are constantly crushing their forces wherever they appear and are continuing swift and bold attack on their forces. Recently our naval forces have carried out an attack on the enemy stronghold of Midway and have annihilated the remnant aircraft carrier force, and at the same time our forces in the northern Pacific carried out an attack on America's northernmost fortifications of Dutch Harbor. And furthermore, our forces have occupied important bases in the Aleutians, and thus our forces have established strategic positions of solid rock foundation. In regard to the southern regions, Sydney of northern Australia and the Madagascar island in the Indian Ocean have been included among the objectives of our attacks. With the strong determination never to cease fighting until the enemy is crushed, the indomitable fighting spirit characteristic of our men is being constantly displayed by their operations. Our Imperial forces are pressing the enemy in the China Continent, in the Pacific, and in (Australia) and at the same time carrying out rapid and concrete progress in the construction of a new order so that the various races may extend their part In the co-prosperity sphere. The various races in the southern regions have understood our true intentions and are gladly extending their cooperation. If I should word it differently, today they are extending greater cooperation in our military operations as well as in the work of reconstruction, giving their support concretely and directly. Now in this manner, the Greater East Asia situation is bringing influence in the creation of India for the Indian people. There is no need for me to mention at this time with regard to the indications shown by India today. The leaders as well as each and every individual of India have lost their (tolerance) in so far as Britain is concerned, and spiritually the people of India have become independent of Britain and are demanding complete withdrawal of British rule from India. As for our country, the Imperial government has frequently expressed its views that it would not hesitate in extending cooperation to India towards the attainment of their long ambition for their independence. British rule in India is the foundation of the existence of Britain and America. However, for British and American power to remain in India can not be absolutely allowed by the Imperial government that is at present striving toward the destruction of these countries. The countries that have created world wide attention with India are in southwest Asia, and the people of these countries are truly about to rise against (Soviet and British) in order to bring restoration of their races. Such uprisings to eradicate the unjust and long rule of Britain are only neutral. The Imperial Government extends its deep sympathy. Our Imperial Government has constantly expressed its views that the various races must be given a role to participate, to enjoy eternal prosperity and everlasting progressiveness. In short, the Mohammedan race in southwestern Asia utilizing the opportunity of a great change taking place in the world is about to rise for the purpose of racial restoration, similar to that of India, and the Imperial Government cannot help but hold anticipation and offer its guidance.

At this time Australia which has been orphaned is showing a pitiful existence earnestly requesting aid from America. There is no need for me to mention again that the Imperial Government will not hold any hesitation if the leaders of Australia still remain incognizant of the existing situation and continue to offer a profitless resistance.

In regard to South America, that Chile and Argentine are steadfast to neutrality is worthy of congratulation. I believe, however, that the only way for other North American countries to avoid the effects of war would depend entirely upon their neutrality by sweeping aside whatever interference they are confronted with. The shining countries of Germany and Italy have made considerable preparations and have started on a bold military operation. The Axis powers are achieving brilliant war results in all theaters of war. In regard to the North African front, the Axis forces have broken through the powerful British forces and have established a secure structure under their control. In the Mediterranean Sea, the Axis naval forces have wrenched air and sea power from the British forces. In the various areas of the Atlantic waters, Axis forces are inflicting tremendous losses on the sea transportation conditions of both America and Britain, and lately the rate of losses inflicted on them have increased greatly. As a result, the life of America and Britain is rapidly vanishing. Such brilliant war results are truly dependent on the immovable fighting spirit and the (united strength) of the brilliant countries of Germany and Italy. I join with you in expressing our sincere congratulations to Germany and Italy. The present war situation which has turned to the advantage of the Axis powers affords Japan, Germany, and Italy to join their hands and fight together in the future through a long war. Suffering from continuous defeats, in England there are many cases of destitute living conditions. On the other hand, in America, a country which does not have a clear picture of the war objective, the people are upset by the voice of expanding great figures of war expenditures which the country is not capable of carrying through, and they are facing increasing domestic difficulties due to the enormous number of shipping losses. Both America and Britain now are heading toward destruction day by day.

Manchukuo is ever more taking the form of a country and is extending close cooperation toward the fulfillment of the objective. The remarkable restoration of the Nanking government is as I have described to you previously. Thailand likewise is extending cooperation to our country. That the various races in the southern regions are awakening from the oppression of older times and are rising in a reconstruction is truly beyond expression of congratulation. Therefore, the victories of our country in concert with the progress made in the advantageous present war situation have become (immovable.) (next sentence not audible.) In order to destroy and eradicate American and British power of domination from the face of the earth, military strength must be increased without mention but we must utilize every material available to crush the remaining power of British and American and must consolidate the entire strength of the nation concentrated on the ultimate objective of the war. I believe that ultimate victory can be attained if the 100 million people unite its total strength thus further strengthening the national structure of our country. The primary requisite of public service behind the home front is truly the support given by the people to the men and officers of the Imperial army, and the spirit of the people behind the home front must be equivalent to the spirit of the armed forces carrying out military operations and overwhelming the enemy. Following this course, I should like to mention on this occasion what the government expects of the people.

The first is the strengthening of the spiritual consolidation of the people. The thoughts of the soldiers at the front are filled with memories of their native land and the protection of the home front. These thoughts can overcome the grief encountered during the performance of patriotic service, and by their complete devotion in their public duties our men are able to fight through such brilliant battles. As a result our men are able to achieve such brilliant war results that could not compare to America and Britain, and behind the glorious achievements of war results lie the spiritual consolidation of the people behind the home front. This point must never be forgotten by the people. On this occasion I should like to pay my respects to the people in whose hearts were instilled the destiny of the nation brought about by the memorable date of December 8, 1941. Here then the nation became strongly united, burning in the hearts of every subject the disposal of the objective of the Greater East Asia war. However, in order to establish a structure of a united people literally, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was formed and was followed by the organization of the Imperial Rule Assistance Political Society. Furthermore, the function and system of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association were enlarged and reorganized, thus uniting the total political strength of the nation and striving toward the fulfillment of the war objective. As for the Imperial Government it has complete confidence in the people, and whatever task is undertaken the government approaches with a feeling of sacrifice of Japan. It is the policy of the government to . . . for the well-being of the subjects and the government expects the people to expend their efforts in firmly establishing a structure of unity among the people.

The second is that the government is carrying out policies only necessary under the war-time situation. The world situation today is undergoing changes with bewildering rapidity, and in coping with the rapid and radical changes and in meeting the needs of the armed forces the question of peace and order internally must be dealt with most adequately and must be settled most speedily. The government after giving every consideration to the domestic and external conditions is taking steps to cope with the situation at an appropriate time by means of simplifying the functions of government offices and by arriving at a closer cooperation among the offices. This has been exemplified by the supply of needed men sent throughout the Greater East Asia sphere with government duties to perform. What I should like to add at this time, when effecting consolidation of total effort, it is the government's view that such a movement be carried out extensively and in the event the campaign is carried out half-heartedly, as a policy, the government is strongly determined to liquidate such a movement.

Third is the establishment of a strong security of the people's living conditions. In order to fight through the war to victory, it is exceedingly important to expand the strength of the armed forces and to establish security in the living conditions on a minimum basis, while carrying out a policy to protect the home front through the efforts of the people at home. As a policy the government is expending every effort in the increase of production of foodstuffs, fuel, materials, and other fields, as well as in the firm establishment of a war time national structure. It is of primary importance that the living conditions of the people be made completely secure and undoubtedly there will be some inconvenience imposed on the people. Among the belligerent nations today there is no other country where living conditions are more blessed than the present conditions existing in Japan. At this time I should like to mention the cooperation of (sea transportation) which concerns the security of the people's living conditions. Sea transportation is utilizing every possible opportunity and is extending a priceless cooperation toward establishing security of the people's living conditions by making sacrifices which are not few. While fighting is in progress, sea transportation is exerting itself in bringing gasoline, sugar, and other goods to the Japan mainland. Such in the spirit of service under the present war situation, and for this rendering of outstanding service we must feel grateful. On this occasion, I wish to express with you our sincere appreciation to the sea transportation service.

Fourth is the successful increased production which is vital for the strengthening of the military. The great force ..., the abundant materials, and the large scale productive power have for their primary objective the fact that production must be evermore strengthened and expanded with respect to arms to begin with, and various types of military goods, both in quality and quantity, in order to exterminate British and American power. Hence, the increased production of military supplies, as well as the improvement of its qualities, are indispensable and are deeply necessary toward fighting through this war to victory. The government lay great emphasis in this respect and hopes for the furtherance of production of supplies by leaps and bounds.

The fifth is the immediate reformation of education. In carrying through the war, education plays an important part, but in order to spread the influence of education, it will depend on the spirit with which it is carried out. (next sentence not clear.) At this time, I should like to emphasize how I feel on the necessity of training men of good character. In winning this great war over Britain and America, and in order to establish a new Greater East Asia with trained leaders as the backbone, men of fine characters who are fit to carry out the various tasks must be trained, and who could be admired by the world. Hence the necessity of training men is urgently felt. Today is the time to effect renovation in our educational system. It is a great task of building a nation with the cooperation of the people with the government.

At this time, when the nation is confronted with an unprecedented crisis, national structures applicable in the southern regions must be established with some enthusiasm on the part of the people. On this day of 2602 year since the founding of the Japanese Empire, it is of great importance that the people throughout the nation unite into a ball and go forward in order to spread the Imperial Way throughout the world. Before the August Virtue of His Imperial Majesty, the people must strive toward the establishment of a new world order and at the same time must establish peace. We must by all means complete our sacred mission of this war and . . .

Today I am proud to stand before you with a thought that I am exerting my efforts in a lifelong mission. Because I have passed the last 40 years in the military, fortunately as you see I am robust and healthy. I am determined to give further service for my country by keeping myself physically fit, training my body and mind. Total effort must be collected in the form of total strength and I believe the objective of the Greater East Asia war will be realized with certainty. At the conclusion I wish to thank you again for the cooperation you have extended thus far and I beg of you to extend your continued efforts. I pray for your health. I wish to conclude my talk.

Sources: ibiblio