Simms: Another sneak pulled by Japs – it’s political (10-16-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 16, 1943)

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Simms: Another sneak pulled by Japs – it’s political

‘Declaration of independence’ for Philippines is cited
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
The Japs have pulled another sneak punch on the United States, only this time it is political instead of military.

On Wednesday, Tokyo proclaimed “the declaration of independence of the Philippine Republic” and announced the inauguration of José P. Laurel, a stooge of long standing, as its first president.

This move can hardly fail to be effective propaganda. For that, of course, is what it is, and all it is. The Philippines will be no more independent under the Japs than Manchukuo, or Burma or the East Indies, but the gesture is bound to fool a lot of Orientals.

The Filipinos are perfectly aware that the United States has already given them their independence. They know that on July 4, 1946, the American flag is to come down and the flag of the Philippine Republic is to go up. Meanwhile, they know that the Philippines for years enjoyed “complete and respected nationhood,” as President Roosevelt expressed it, and that President Manuel Quezon is their freely-elected chief executive.

Situation changed

Nevertheless, the situation in the islands has changed since Bataan. The Japs are masters. They have control of press and radio and are taking full advantage of their opportunity. They are telling the Filipinos that the Americans have been lying, that President Quezon has been fooling them, that the promise of independence is just a swindle. The Japs are their real friends, so the people are told, and to prove it, Tokyo sets them “free” at once.

To offset the effect of the Jap gesture, the President and other high officials here feel that there is but one adequate thing the United States can do. That is to advance the date of Philippine independence and make it effective immediately. Legislation has been introduced in Congress and the President has requested the early action on it.

Unfortunately, even that can only partly undo the damage. The Japs can, and undoubtedly will, smother the Filipinos, with further propaganda claiming they forced our hand and that our grant of freedom will now be snatched back if we win the war.

Separation complete

Nevertheless, opinion here seems overwhelmingly in favor of advancing the date of full nationhood. De facto, the islands are already free. The granting of de jure independence would seem to make no material difference. Separation is now complete anyway. Only the ties of long friendship remain and these will be consecrated when America drives the invaders out of the islands.

Meanwhile, the Japs are posing as the “liberators” of all the brown and yellow races. In India, according to reports received here, they are even making use of the famine conditions now prevalent in certain areas. They have sent out messages telling the Indians that they are prepared to send in shiploads of rice within 72 hours – the time it takes for vessels to steam from Rangoon to Calcutta – if only the Allies will guarantee safe conduct. The same report says they have dropped bags of rice from planes. The Japs seem to have a better understanding of foreign psychology than their Teutonic pals.


Well… he is certainly right about that. In the case of the INA, they deployed a brigade on the frontline purely for propaganda purposes (the INA had a division with 3 brigades ready in 1943). And the Japanese don’t treat the INA as equals (in 1943) meanwhile promising that the japanese will do everything to grant India it’s freedom.

Ahh… very very subtle racism.


As subtle as the Sledgehammer TV Series :crazy_face:



comedy show without a laugh track?



Sledge doesn’t need a laugh :joy_cat: track for funny. Oh an it’s dead serious :face_with_monocle: :man_police_officer: work