Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere

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The Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere is a term announced by Japan on 1 August 1940, during the Second Sino-Japanese War but before the strikes against Western colonies. It was introduced with the statement,

The world stands at a great historic turning point, and it is about to witness the creation of new forms of government, economy, and culture, based upon the growth and development of sundry groups of states. Japan, too, is confronted by a great trial such as she has never experienced in history. In order to carry out fully at this juncture our national policy in accordance with the lofty spirit in which the country was founded, it is an important task of urgent necessity to us that we should grasp the inevitable trends in the developments of world history, effect speedily fundamental renovations along all lines of government, and strive for the perfection of a state structure for national defense. [1]

The statement explained that the Sphere,at the very least, comprised Japan, China and Manchukuo.

It was further examined in a 2 July 1941 Imperial conference convened by Prince Konoye, it was one of the fundamental public strategic ideas used by Japan in the Pacific War, introduced by the document "Essentials for Implementing Administration in the Occupied Southern Area". [2]It was used, in Japanese psychological warfare, to appeal to regional nations to have Asia for the Asians, but the abstraction was less than ideally received due both to concepts of national sovereignty, and the knowledge of Japanese conduct in Hawaii.

Hirohito expressed anger,in 1943, for the lack of contributions to it by the Imperial Japanese Navy:

The way we're waging war now raises the enemy's morale just as did Guadalcanal. We've making neutral and third countries feel very uneasy, we're causing Chinato puff [its chest] up, and we are undermining all the countries of the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere. Isn't there some way, some place, where we can win a real victory over the Americans?<ref>Bix, p. 464</ref


  1. The Official Statement of the Japanese Government, World Future Fund, August 1, 1940
  2. Herbert P. Bix (2001), Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, Harper Perennial, ISBN 978-0060931308, pp. 379