Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

October 20, 1943

The text of the Alliance Treaty between Japan and the new Government was published today. The pact was signed by Ambassador Murata and Mr. Recto who was today named Minister of State. One farcical fact hiding behind the formalities of protocol was that the treaty was dated October 14, that is, the very day when the Republic was proclaimed. This meant that the approval by Tokyo and the ratification of the treaty by the contracting parties took place before one of them—the Philippines—became a free and sovereign nation.

 

            Article 2 of the Treaty provided that “the contracting parties shall cooperate strictly in political, economic and military affairs for the successful pursuit of the Great East Asia war.”

The nature of this strict military cooperation was explained by an appendix to the said treaty: “The Philippines shall apportion all kinds of facilities to the military operations which Japan shall undertake. The Philippines and Japan shall cooperate strictly between themselves to safeguard the territorial integrity and the Independence of the Philippines.”

The negative consequences of this pact, according to official interpretation were:

  1. That the Philippines had to declare war against the Allies.
  2. That no Filipino soldier had to leave his country to fight.

According to the same interpretation, the positive consequences were:

  1. The economic cooperation would continue as it was.
  2. The military cooperation would take place only in case the Philippines would be attacked or invaded.

Through these provisions, it could be seen that the Japanese would continue dominating and utilizing the economy of the country for her ends and that the spectrum of war would move away but not disappear. The people were convinced that when the Americans would come sufficiently near, they would undoubtedly attack, first by air and then by sea, the Japanese ports and airfields in the Philippines. Would this constitute a sufficient cause for a casus belli against the aggressors and to force the government to declare war? The text of the Pact seemed to guarantee an affirmative response, since the Philippines was committed to defend her national integrity and her independence with the help of Japan in case of attack or invasion. Naturally, Japan would do what she believed would serve her interests. If she would feel that the Philippine Army was a hindrance or an enemy, she would rather fight alone in one front.

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