Matsuoka's Opening Address at Franco-Thai Mediation
ww2dbaseYOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, EXCELLENCIES, AND GENTLEMEN:
I wish first of all to welcome you most heartily, and express my most sincere appreciation of the trouble you have taken in coming such a long way to attend this conference.
It is my firm belief that the establishment of a sphere of common prosperity throughout Greater East Asia is not only Japan's policy, but indeed a historical necessity in the event of world history. And those countries which exist in that sphere can contribute to the peace of Asia as well as to that of the world by their procuring each its own place and enjoying common prosperity amongst them. For that purpose I need hardly say that it is of vital importance that there should be security and stability in this part of East Asia. Therefore, when there arose a dispute concerning the boundary between Thailand and French Indo-China last year, I sincerely wished that the dispute would be amicably settled. Unfortunately, however, hostilities began between the two countries. The Japanese Government considered that it would be undesirable in the interests of the whole East Asia if this state of affairs were allowed to last long, and therefore we have decided to mediate between the two countries.
Now that we have entered upon the task of mediation, it will readily be appreciated that the Japanese Government are prepared to endeavor to bring about the settlement of the dispute with determination and responsibility.
It was most fortunate that the Conference for the Cessation of Hostilities held at Saigon so speedily came to satisfactory end. I wish from the bottom of my heart that both the French and Thai Delegates would show at this Tokyo Conference for the Dispute such a perfect understanding and earnest spirit of cooperation as were manifested by them at the Saigon Conference for the Cessation of Hostilities, so that the dispute may be speedily settled and friendly relations restored between the two countries, thus making an invaluable contribution towards the peace and stability of Greater East Asia. ww2dbase
Added By: C. Peter Chen
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945