Fumimaro Konoye gave this speech a day after Japan joined Germany and Italy in the Second World War.
World history is at a turning point. The Japanese Government has entered into the triple alliance for peace and for development of the world. We are aware of our heavy responsibility. I shall tell you the true state of affairs and ask you to awaken to our position.
Affairs in East Asia have gradually deteriorated, and settlement of the China affair has been diflicult, so the government has decided radical measures were needed to settle what is really a civil war.
It is natural that Germany and Italy, who were making a new order in Europe, should make common cause with Japan. The division of the world into several spheres of co-existence and mutual prosperity would benefit all nations. The European war has been caused by efforts to suppress this desire.
We face an emergency unprecedented in our history. Enforcement of the treaty of alliance may become necessary. However difficult the position may become, the government is determined to face its responsibilities.
During the past three years Japan has made tremendous sacrifices and has lost many loyal soldiers. Prolongation of the China war on one hand and establishment of the new order and armament replenishment on the other have exacted heavy sacrifices and have made life difficult.
Taking internal conditions and the international outlook into consideration, the government decided the triple alliance was Japan’s best way. Our efforts will decide our fate. No effort will be too great. I ask the people to rise to overcome the nation’s difficulties.