[From The Way of Subjects, Japanese Ministry of Education, 1941.]
Viewed from the standpoint of world history, the China Affair is a step toward the construction of a world of moral principles by Japan. The building tip of a new order for securing lasting world peace will be attained by the completion of the China Affair as a steppingstone. In this regard the China Affair would not and should not end with the mere downfall of the Chiang Kai-shek regime. Until the evils of European and American influences in East Asia that have led China astray are eliminated, until Japan's cooperation with New China as one of the links in the chain of the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere4 yields satisfactory results, and East Asia and the rest of the world are united as one on the basis of moral principles, Japan's indefatigable efforts are sorely needed . . . .
Japan has a political mission to help various regions in the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere, which are reduced to a state of quasicolony by Europe and America, and rescue them from their control. Economically, this country will have to eradicate the evils of their exploitation and then set up an economic structure for coexistence and coprosperity. Culturally, Japan must strive to fashion East Asian nations to abandon their following of European and American culture and to develop Eastern culture for the purpose of contributing to the creation of a just world. The East has been left to destruction for the past several hundred years. Its rehabilitation is not an easy task. It is natural that unusual difficulties attend the establishment of a new order and the creation of a new culture. Overcoming these difficulties will do much to help in establishing a world dominated by morality, in which all nations can co-operate and all people can secure their proper positions. . . .
It is urgent for Japan to achieve the establishment of a structure of national unanimity in politics, economy, culture, education, and all other realms of national life. Defense is absolutely necessary for national existence. A nation without defense is one that belongs to a dream world. Whether defense is perfected or not is the scale that measures the nation's existence or ruin. National growth and development can hardly be expected without perfection of defense. . . .
With the change of war from a simple military matter to a complicated total affair, the distinction between [wartime] and peacetime has been clouded. When the world was singing peace, a furious economic and cultural war was staged behind the scenes, among nations. Unless a Country is organized even in time of peace, so that the total struggle of the state and the people is constantly concentrated on the objective of the country, and the highest capacity is displayed, the country is predestined to be defeated before taking to arms. . . .
3 Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975), Successor to Sun Yat-sen as head of the Nationalist party, was the recognized leader of wartime China, even though the communists under Mao Zedong controlled large parts of the country.
4 The Japanese term for their Asian empire.