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>>

Broadcast by Tokyo Radio

70.    Broadcast by Tokyo Radio, 16 November 1943

In the course of a statement, Mr Subhas Chandra Bose said, “I have a new message to give you. After my arrival in Tokyo, I and my colleagues of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind were invited to attend the Assembly of Greater East Asiatic Nations held on November 5 and 6 as observers. In this Assembly the representatives of the Independent Governments of Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, China, Manchukuo and Japan participated. You must have heard by now of the joint declaration passed unanimously and enthusiastically by the representatives of the participating nations. The joint declaration pointed out that it is the basic principle for the establishment of a world peace that the nations of the world have each their own place, and enjoy prosperity in common and mutual cooperation. The United States of America and the British Empire have, in seeking their own prosperity, oppressed and exploited other nations. It is especially in East Asia that they indulged in an orgy of aggression and exploitation in order to satisfy their inordinate ambition and insatiable greed. And finally, they have constantly been a menace to the stability and peace of East Asia. Herein lies the cause of the present war. Japan has entered the war of Greater East Asia with a view to establishing permanent peace in the world and in order to liberate the oppressed and exploited countries of East Asia from the yoke of British American domination. In the struggle Japan is being supported wholeheartedly by all East Asiatic nations, because in a Japanese victory alone lies the hope of all Asia. For ensuring their self-existence the following principles have been adopted:
(i)    The countries of Greater East Asia, through mutual cooperation will ensure the stability of their regions and construct an order of common prosperity and well-being based on justice.
(ii)    The countries of Greater East Asia will ensure equality of nations in their region by respecting one another's sovereignty and dependence and practising mutual assistance and amity.
(iii)    The countries of Greater East Asia, by respecting one another's traditions and developing the creative faculties of each State to enhance the culture of the peoples of Greater East Asia.
(iv)    The countries of Greater East Asia will endeavour to accelerate their economic development through close cooperation on the basis of mutual necessity and promote thereby the general prosperity of their region.
(v)    The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the establishment, abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural intercourse and the opening up of the resources to the outer world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind.

It is the first time in modern history that emancipated nations of East Asia have come together in close cooperation for setting up a New Order. Attempts at setting up a new international order have, as you know, been made before but all these attempts failed. They failed because of the selfishness, greed and avarice of the leading powers, those powers that were expected to set an example to the whole world. The last such experiment was the League of Nations. The League of Nations was said to be an organisation which would establish peace and security throughout the world, but England and France utilised and exploited that organisation for advancing their own interests with the result that it became an instrument of international exploitation, dominated and controlled by Britain and France. International order in East Asia or the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere has been, on the contrary, set upon the basis of the principles of justice, popular sovereignty, reciprocity and mutual assistance. I cannot conceive of a more just and moral basis for investing an international order. I am, therefore, confident that where the rest of the world has failed, the East will succeed. It has often happened in history that light comes from the East. In the domain of international relations, too, light once again comes from the East. That is why history has ordained that the endeavour to establish a new order in the world should now begin in the East, and that the foundation-stone be now begun in the East, and that the foundation-stone be laid in the land of the Rising Sun. The Assembly of Greater East Asiatic Nations is a new and noble experiment in this direction. Upon its success depends not only the future of East Asia, but of the whole of Asia, and ultimately, of the whole world as well.”