Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

October 6, 1943

The three political leaders—Laurel, Vargas and Aquino—were flown to Tokyo to receive the papal blessing, according to someone. It is not for us to scrutinize the motive of the trip to the Imperial capital, nor can we discern the mystery hidden behind the cloak of entertainment, commendations, receptions and sightseeing tours which were said to be the objective of the trip. However, some phrases delivered by Premier Tojo during a banquet given by him upset the digestive processes of the guests.

 

The course of internal and external events indicates that the war has entered into a decisive phase and that the counter offensive of the Anti-Axis continues with obstinate persistence. The imperial government, for its part, is launching a program of combining forces of one billion inhabitants of Great East Asia to destroy the enemy offensive… The countries of Manchuria, New China, Thailand, Burma and others in East Asia have already combined their forces. With the independence of the Philippines, the unity of Asians has increased even more.

Could these enigmatic pronouncements contain a prognostication and an exigency? Could it be interpreted as an answer to the query that the entry of the Philippines into the war is a necessary consequence of independence? The possibility is turning into a probability.

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