Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Domei News Agency

Offering the toast at the banquet given in honour of Mr Subhas Chandra Bose, who is here on official business, at his official residence last evening (November 4) Gen. Koiso, the Prime Minister of Japan, heartily welcomed Mr Bose and his suite as well as the other distinguished guests and expressed his sincere good wishes for the future growth of the Provisional Government. General Koiso declared: “Since October 21, last year when the Provisional Government of Azad Hind was formed by Mr Bose and other patriotic Indians who have an earnest desire to liberate India from the British yoke and achieve her independence, the Provisional Government has, under the most difficult conditions, kept on fighting with supreme courage and undaunted fighting spirit. I wish to pay my profound respects to Mr Bose and the other members of the Provisional Government for their untiring efforts. The Anglo-Saxons have snatched away territories in East Asia and enslaved their peoples by their crafty machinations and by relentless use of armed force. In order to maintain their domination of East Asia, they have tried, by an importation of material civilisation, to corrupt the spirit of the Orientals and deprive them of their freedom.”

General Koiso went on to say, “Japan has kept up her sincere efforts to defend East Asia against their inordinate ambition to dominate it. With the outbreak of the Greater East Asia war, however, the one million people of East Asia were awakened to their national pride and their mission to liberate East Asia and they stood up simultaneously to frustrate British-American aggression. I profoundly sympathise with the miserable lot of Indians who for many years have been tormented by British tyranny, and, at the same time, as an Asiatic I feel moral indignation at Britain's ruthless exploitation of India. I feel confident that in the struggle for independence, Mr Bose and other members of the Provisional Government will inspire all freedom-loving Indians to rise so as to purge British influence from Indian soil and to establish completely an independent state."

Continuing, General Koiso declared, “Being desirous of the healthy growth of the Provincial Government and a speedy realisation of its aims, Japan will persistently continue to tender every possible assistance, both material and spiritual, to the Provisional Government. The day after tomorrow is the anniversary of the historic Joint Declaration of the Greater East Asiatic Nations. The five principles of that Joint Declaration embody the common aims of the whole of the East Asiatic peoples to restore East Asia, which has been groaning for several hundred years under British and American aggression, to its proper place, by establishing in East Asia a New Order based on mutual respect and co-prosperity. It is clear from the several pronouncements and actual conduct of the Japanese Government that the aims which Japan desires to accomplish through the successful prosecution of the present war are nothing but the realisation of New Order in East Asia based on justice.”

Stressing that the Greater East Asia War had now entered an important and decisive state which would decide the fate of the one million people in the recent serial battles off Taiwan and in the sea battles off the Philippines and in the fighting around Leyte are heartening not only to the Japanese but also to all Asiatic peoples. “We must expect however that our enemies, who still have powerful fleets and air forces, will come out again and again to launch a desperate attack upon us with concentrated strength. Japan has the firm determination and confidence to fight out the present war until final victory is achieved by making her cooperation with her Allies still closer and by mobilising the total strength of East Asia.”

General Koiso concluded with these words:“I hope earnestly that Mr Bose will trust the real strength and intentions of Japan and in cooperation with our forces fight out, however difficult the conditions may be, the battle for the accomplishment of Indian independence. At the same time, I desire to express my sincere and good wishes for the future growth of the Provisional Government. Now may I ask you to raise your glasses for the good health of His Excellency Subhas Chandra Bose?”