The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (Japanese: 大東亜共栄圏, Hepburn: Dai Tōa Kyōeiken), also known as the GEACPS, was a concept that was developed in the Empire of Japan and propagated to Asian populations which were occupied by it from 1931 to 1945, and which officially aimed at creating a self-sufficient bloc of Asian peoples and states that would be led by the Japanese and be free from the rule of Western powers. The idea was first announced on 1 August 1940 in a radio address delivered by Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka.
|Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere|
The intent and practical implementation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere varied widely depending on the group and government department involved. Policy theorists who conceived it, as well as the vast majority of the Japanese population at large, saw it for its pan-Asian ideals of freedom and independence from Western colonial rule. In practice, however, it was frequently used by militarists and nationalists, who saw an effective policy vehicle through which to strengthen Japan's position and advance its dominance within Asia. The latter approach was reflected in a document released by Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare, An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus, which laid out the central position of Japan within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and promoted the idea of Japanese superiority over other Asians. Japanese spokesmen openly described the Great East Asia Co-Prosperity as a device for the "development of the Japanese race." When World War II ended, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere became a source of criticism and scorn.
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