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Greater East Asian Prosperity Alliance (Twilight of a New Era)

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大東亜共栄同盟
Dai-tō-a Kyōei Dōmei
GreaterAsia
Official language Japanese
Headquarters Ministry of Greater East Asia Tokyo (Japan)
Establishment 1934-1946

The Greater East Asian Prosperity Alliance (大東亜共栄同盟, Dai-tō-a Kyōei Dōmei) was regional economic organization created by the Empire of Japan in 1934. It was dissolved after the Great Pacific War (1946) by the Allies.

Its creation came shortly after the Empire of Japan withdraw from the League of Nations. Its main purpose was to establish a Japanese sphere of influence in the Far East. The slogan Asia for Asians, was used. It specified the need to liberate Asian countries from Western imperialist powers, and economic co-prosperity for member nations of the autarkic bloc. Underneath it hide the need of markets and resource for Japan. Also, and of importance to military and ultranationalist circles, has a preparation for future war against US, UK and France over the colonial possessions and territories in the Pacific, South-East Asia, Australia and India.

Japanese administration

Besides establishing a Yen Block in member countries and occupied territories, it coordinated the allocation of resources for the economy of Japan.

All personal and administrative and political posts where occupied by Japanese. An East Asian Section (1935), was created in the Civil Service to recruit, train, evaluate and promote public servants. Tough military authorities had wide political and administrative powers in war zones (e.g. China) and the Governors-Generals where only answerable to the Prime Minister.

The Organizations of the Alliance where the following.

  • Ministry of Greater East Asia (大東亜省, Daitōashō). It was a cabinet post in charge of coordinating the establishment and development of the Alliance.
  • East Asia Development Board (Kōain). Its stated purpose was to sponsor industrial and commercial development, creating jobs and infrastructure, and thus boosting support for Japanese-rule in the occupied territories. Later it coordinated a system of forced labor (mainly from Korea and Manchukuo) and organized the seizure of resources.
  • Bank of Japan, in charge of issuing Japanese Military Yen (JMY) in occupied territories It is also in charge of coordinating of monetary policies rates in Manchukuo, Mengjiang and Chinese State Union and their exchange rates. It had transfered the gold reserves of affiliated countries to Japan has a safeguard and guarantee against loans, and has mechanism to facilitate payments.
  • Resources and Manpower Planning Board. It was in charge of economic planification in favor of the Japanese War effort and companies. It coordinated and distributed state and state-private monopolies. It also was in charge of manpower certification and recruitment. Formed part of the system of forced labor.

A binding ideology: Pan-Asianism

Pan-Asianism (also known as Asianism or Greater Asianism) was a Japanese ideology or a movement that stated that Asian nations should unite and solidify and create a continental identity to defeat the designs of the Western nations to perpetuate hegemony in Asia. In the 1930s and 1940s this ideology was used by the Japanese government as part of a propaganda campaign against European (and US) Imperialism in support of its rival imperialist Greater East Asian Prosperity Alliance.

The concept "Greater East Asia" (大東亜 Dai-tō-a) was a Japanese term - banned by the post-war Japanese Republic - developed by Imperial Japanese Army referring to Far East Asia. The new Japanese empire was presented as an Asian equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine,especially with the Roosevelt Corollary. The regions of Asia, it was argued, were as essential to Japan as Latin America was to the US.

In the name and principles of Pan-Asianism was the military invasion of China and creation of several puppet states legitimized.

The established Pan-Asian Parties were the following:

  • Progress Union, of Taiwan
  • New Iljinhoe (or New Progress Society for Unity and Advancement) , of Korea
  • Flag of Concordia Association Concordia Association (State-sponsored political party), of Manchukuo
  • Pan-Mongolian Peoples League, of Mengjiang
  • Flag of the National Renaissance League of China (TNE) National Renaissance League, of China (Chinese State Union)

However they were not representative of public opinion or had a real mass following, being chiefly collaborators of Japanese authorities.

Culture and Propaganda

Koki2600

1940 Japanese Empire propaganda poster celebrating the 2600th anniversary of the mythical foundation of the empire by emperor Jimmu. Empire Day (紀元節, Kigensetsu) (11 February) was declared official holiday of all member states and territories in 1939

Cultural assimilation and promotion of Japanese Values and the ideology of Greater East Asia was put in charge of the Institute for the Promotion of Japanese Culture and the Japanese Friendship League. Outside Japan, the administration of State Shinto worship and shrines was in charge of the Association for the Promotion of Shinto Worship.

The curriculum of schools outside Japan considered has obligatory curriculum contents: Greater East Asia ideology, State Shinto, reverence to the Japanese Emperor and learning Japanese as second language.

Radio Greater East Asia, a subsidiary of Radio Tokyo, broadcast in Japanese, English, French, Chinese Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Malay. During the Second Sino-Japanese War the Radio of a Free National China was created as a propaganda medium for Manchuria, Mongolia and China. It had programs in Chinese Mandarin, Mongolian and Manchu.

A number of primed media was produce, being most notable the weekly Asian Society Report distributed only outside Japan. Considerable printed output also came out from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Japanese Friendship League.

Dōmei News Agency (Dōmei Tsushin), the sole news agency, maintained a network of offices outside Japan, dispatching reporters to all Allied and neutral countries, and was also involved in film and radio. It also collected news and information from various sources to pass on to the government and military, and produced various works of propaganda aimed at foreign countries.

Members and territories

Greater East Asian Prosperity Alliance members (TNE)

Members of the Greater East Asian Prosperity Alliance

Member countries:

Territories of Japanese Empire, under direction of the Japanese Ministry of Colonial Affairs (拓務省, Takumushō):


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