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December 23, 1942

Conference with Rōyama:

Comparative study of the conditions and tasks faced by USA and Japan at the beginning of their respective administrations of the Philippine archipelago.

  1. When the Americans took over the Islands, they had to institute governmental agencies; they likewise had to undertake legislative functions as well. We Japanese have an advantage over the Americans in this respect in that the Filipinos already possess an apparatus of government which we can utilize in administering the archipelago. The existing legal order can function with minimum modifications on our part.
  2. While the Americans had the relatively simpler task of concentrating their effort on administering their newly acquired territory, our task is made doubly complicated in that we are conducting a long drawn out international war at the same time. This means that, instead of bringing in goods and matériel to the Islands, we are obliged to exploit their resources and otherwise to impose economic drain and social hardships on the people here. This certainly works great handicap against us when we must be seeking to retain the otherwise fast-waning attachment of the indigenous population.
  3. When the Americans first came here, they found a group of native leaders who were ready to cooperate with the new sovereignty – the Federal party. On the other hand, we Japanese have every reason to suspect that the “cooperation” we are getting from the Filipino leaders — from Jorge Vargas down — is more apparent than genuine: they are merely biding their time till the end of the war. Their collaborative gestures seem prompted solely by their desire to keep to a minimum the sufferings and hardship which might be inflicted upon their people by occupying personnel. Difficult to tell just how many of these collaborating Filipino politicos are really interested in constructing a new Philippines under guidance of Japan. On the other hand, our policymakers at JMA are so preoccupied with the question of collecting war matériel in the Islands that little room is left in their thinking for seriously considering the future fate of the Philippine people or their welfare.