The conference gathered leaders from throughout Japanese-occupied territory in Tokyo on 5 and 6 November 1943. Official delegates were Wang Jingwei (Wang Ching-wei) from China; Zhang Qing-hui (Chang Ching-hui), president of Manzhouguo (Manchukuo); José Laurel, leader of the Philippines; Ba Maw, leader of Burma; and Prince Wan Waithayakon, representing Prime Minister Phibun Songkhram of Thailand. Subhas Chandra Bose, head of the Japanese-sponsored Free India Provisional Government, was also present as an observer. National leaders from Indonesia and Malaya were not invited, because Japan secretly planned to annex these territories.
With Japanese Prime Minister General Tojo Hideki chairing the proceedings, the delegates discussed the general war situation and political agenda. At the conference's conclusion, the delegates adopted Daitoa kyodo sengen, the Greater East Asia Declaration, which called for (1) establishment of a regional order based on the principles of coexistence and co-prosperity, (2) respect for mutual autonomy and independence, (3) mutual respect of traditional cultures, (4) promotion of economic interdependence, (5) the abolition of racial discrimination, and (6) the open access by member nations to natural resources.
Although Japan granted Burma and the Philippines nominal independence, Japan's continued occupation of Southeast Asia and its harsh exploitation of both the local populations and natural resources undermined the pan-Asiatic ideal of the declaration. A second conference was planned in 1944, but the deteriorating Japanese military situation rendered it totally impossible. Tohmatsu Haruo
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