Rōyama and I took noon luncheon with Miki Kiyoshi and listened to his observations on the Philippine situation.
Summary of Miki’s observations on the Philippines:
- Lack of peace and order outside of Manila: bold and drastic measures must be taken, taken rather quickly, to cope with the situation before further degeneration makes it uncontrollable.
- Japan must make its stand on Philippine independence clear and definite. To the Filipinos, “independence” has been elevated to the realm of a faith and national conviction, not only among the intelligentsia but also among the general populace, who are now assuming an attitude of “wait and see” on the question of which side will win the war, the Japanese or Americans.
- Cotton farmers are entertaining a fear that, when the harvesting time comes, all the cotton crops might be taken away by the Japanese army, leaving none to the farmers. Filipino farmers should be assured of some share in the forthcoming crops; otherwise it will be extremely difficult to obtain their cooperation in the future.
- Employment opportunities should be extended more liberally to the Filipinos. Widespread unemployment in the provinces is being reflected in increased cases of wreckage of factories and in instances of intimidation directed against Filipino “collaborators” with the Japanese. In Miki’s opinion, unless the all-important independence issue is gotten out of the way, easing of the rapidly aggravating industrial and economic situation will have little chance of success.
- Any attempt to maintain order in the Philippines by military formula alone will be of no avail. The matter should be approached primarily from cultural and political standpoints. We must appreciate the fact that the cultural level of the Filipino people is relatively high.
- Filipinos are paying intensive attention to the battle now being fought in the Solomons area. They are hesitant to make too deep a commitment with the Japanese now lest the Americans come back to the islands later. So they are assuming a noncommittal attitude.