Second Philippine Republic

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Republic of the Philippines
フィリピン共和国 (Japanese)
Repúbliká ng Pilipinas (Tagalog)
Puppet state of Imperial Japan
  • "Kapayapaan, Kalayaan, Katarungan" (Tagalog)
  • "Peace, Freedom, Justice"
Lupang Hinirang
Awit sa Paglikha ng Bagong Pilipinas
Hymn of the Birth of the New Philippines
Location of the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
Capital Manila (1942-45)
Baguio (1945)
Languages Tagalog, Japanese
Government Single-party authoritarian republic
President José P. Laurel
Speaker Benigno S. Aquino
Legislature National Assembly
Historical era World War II
 •  Established October 14, 1943
 •  Disestablished August 17, 1945
 •  1946 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi)
 •  1946 est. 18,846,800 
     Density 63/km2 (163/sq mi)
Currency Japanese government-issued Philippine peso
("Mickey Mouse money")
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines

The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Japanese: フィリピン共和国, Filipino: Repúbliká ng Pilipinas), or known in the Philippines as Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic, was a puppet state established on October 14, 1943, during the Japanese occupation.

President Manuel L. Quezon declared Manila, the capital city, an "open city" and left it under the rule of Jorge B. Vargas, as mayor. The Japanese entered the city on January 2, 1942, and established it as the capital. Japan fully captured the Philippines on May 6, 1942, after the Battle of Corregidor.

General Masaharu Homma decreed the dissolution the Commonwealth of the Philippines and established the Philippine Executive Commission, a caretaker government, with Vargas as its first chairman in January 1942. KALIBAPIKapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (Tagalog for the "Organization in the Service of the New Philippines") was formed by Proclamation No. 109 of the Philippine Executive Commission (Komisyong Tagapagpaganap ng Pilipinas), a piece of legislation passed on December 8, 1942, banning all existing political parties and creating the new governing alliance. Its first director-general was Benigno Aquino, Sr..[1] The pro-Japanese Ganap Party, which saw the Japanese as the savior of the archipelago, was absorbed into the KALIBAPI.[2]



José Paciano Laurel was the only president of the Second Philippine Republic.

Before the formation of the Preparatory Commission, the Japanese gave an option to put the Philippines under the dictatorship of Artemio Ricarte, whom the Japanese returned from Yokohama to help bolster their propaganda movement. However, the Philippine Executive Commission refused this option and chose to make the Philippines a republic instead. During his first visit to the Philippines on May 6, 1943, Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō promised to return independence to the Philippines as part of its propaganda of Pan-Asianism (Asia for the Asians).[3]

This prompted the KALIBAPI to create the Preparatory Committee for Philippine Independence on June 19, 1943.[1] A draft constitution was formed by the Preparatory Commission for Independence, consisting of 20 members from the KALIBAPI.[4] The Preparatory Commission, led by José P. Laurel,[5] presented its draft Constitution on September 4, 1943 and three days later, the KALIBAPI general assembly ratified the draft Constitution.[4]

By September 20, 1943, the KALIBAPI's representative groups in the country's provinces and cities elected from among themselves fifty-four members of the Philippine National Assembly, the legislature of the country, with fifty-four governors and city mayors as ex-officio members.

File:Laurel inauguration, 1943.jpg
The Inauguration of José P. Laurel as the third President of the Philippines and the first president of the Second Philippine Republic under Japan occurred on October 14, 1943.

Three days after establishing the National Assembly, its inaugural session was held at the pre-war Legislative Building and it elected by majority Benigno S. Aquino as its first Speaker and José P. Laurel as President of the Republic of the Philippines, who was inaugurated on October 14, 1943, at the foundation of the Republic, the Legislative Building.[4] Former President Emilio Aguinaldo and General Artemio Ricarte raised the Philippine flag, the same one used during the Philippine–American War, during the inauguration.[3]

On the same day, a "Pact of Alliance" was signed between the new Republic and the Japanese government that was ratified two days later by the National Assembly.

The Republic


President José P. Laurel 1943–1945
Vice President Benigno S. Aquino 1943–1945
Ministries involved Jorge B. Vargas 1943-1945
Minister of Agriculture and Commerance Rafael Alunan 1943–1945
Minister of Health, Labor and Public Instructions Emiliano Tria Tirona 1943–1945
Minister of Finance Antonio de las Alas 1943–1945
Minister of Foreign Affairs Claro M. Recto 1943–1945
Minister of Justice Teofilo Sison 1943–1945
Minister of Education Camilo Osías 1943–1945
Minister of Public Works and Communication Quentin Paredes 1943–1945

Greater East Asia Conference

Greater East Asia Conference in November 1943, Participants Left to right: Prime Minister of Burma Ba Maw, Prime Minister of Manchukou Zhang Jinghui, President of China (Nanjing) Wang Jingwei, Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tōjō, Prince of Thailand Wan Waithayakon, President of Philippines José P. Laurel, President of Free India Subhas Chandra Bose

The Greater East Asia Conference (大東亜会議 Dai Tōa Kaigi?) was an international summit held in Tokyo from 5 to 6 November 1943, in which Japan hosted the heads of state of various component members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The event was also referred to as the Tokyo Conference. The Conference addressed few issues of any substance, but was intended from the start as a propaganda show piece, to illustrate the Empire of Japan's commitments to the Pan-Asianism ideal and to emphasize its role as the "liberator" of Asia from Western colonialism.[6]

The conference and the formal declaration adhered to on November 6 was little more than a propaganda gesture designed to rally regional support for the next stage of the war, outlining the ideals of which it was fought.[7] However, the Conference marked a turning point in Japanese foreign policy and relations with other Asian nations. The defeat of Japanese forces on Guadalcanal and an increasing awareness of the limitations to Japanese military strength led the Japanese civilian leadership to realize that a framework based on cooperation, rather than colonial domination would enable a greater mobilization of manpower and resources against the resurgent Allied forces. It was also the start of efforts to create a framework that would allow for some form of diplomatic compromise should the military solution fail altogether.[7] However these moves came too late to save the Empire, which surrendered to the Allies less than two years after the conference.

Problems of the Republic

During his term in office, Laurel was faced with various problems that the country was experiencing, such as the following:

  • Shortages of food, clothing, oil, and other necessities.
  • Heavy Japanese military presence throughout the entire region.[8]
  • Japanese control of transportation, media, and communications.

Laurel attempted to show that the independence of the republic was genuine by rectifying these problems.

Food shortages

Prioritizing the shortages of food, he organized an agency to distribute rice, even though most of the rice was confiscated by Japanese soldiers. Manila was one of the many places in the country that suffered from severe shortages, due mainly to a typhoon that struck the country in November 1943. The people were forced to cultivate private plots which produced root crops like kangkong.[9] The Japanese, in order to raise rice production in the country, brought a quick-maturing horai rice, which was first used in Taiwan.[10] Horai rice was expected to make the Philippines self-sufficient in rice by 1943, but rains during 1942 prevented this from happening.[11]

Japanese money

Japanese Invasion Money - Philippines 500 Pesos

The first issue in 1942 consisted of denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 50 centavos and 1, 5, and 10 Pesos. The next year brought "replacement notes" of the 1, 5 and 10 Pesos while 1944 ushered in a 100 Peso note and soon after an inflationary 500 Pesos note. In 1945, the Japanese issued a 1,000 Pesos note. This set of new money, which was printed even before the war, became known in the Philippines as Mickey Mouse money due to its very low value caused by severe inflation. Anti-Japanese newspapers portrayed stories of going to the market laden with suitcases or "bayong" (native bags made of woven coconut or buri leaf strips) overflowing with the Japanese-issued bills.[3] In 1944, a box of matches cost more than 100 Mickey Mouse pesos.[12] In 1945, a kilogram of camote cost around 1000 Mickey Mouse pesos.[13] Inflation plagued the country with the devaluation of the Japanese money, evidenced by a 60% inflation experienced in January 1944.[14]


File:Japanese soldiers post instructive Japanese posters.jpg
Japanese soldiers post instructive posters on the Japanese language.

The Japanese allowed Tagalog be the national language of the Philippines.[15] To this end a pared-down, 1000 word version of the language was promoted to be learned rapidly by those not yet versed in the language.[16] Love for labor was encouraged, as seen by the massive labor recruitment programs by the KALIBAPI by mid-1943. Propagation of both Filipino and Japanese cultures were conducted. Schools were reopened, which had an overall number of 300,000 students at its peak.[17]

End of the Republic

President Laurel, Speaker Aquino, and José Laurel III being taken into U.S. custody at Osaka Airport in 1945.

On September 21, 1944, Laurel put the Republic under Martial Law.[18] On September 23, 1944, the Republic officially declared war against the United States and United Kingdom.[19] Following the return of American-led Allied forces, the government of the Second Republic evacuated Manila to Baguio.[20] The republic was formally dissolved by Laurel in Tokyo on August 17, 1945.[20]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Aluit, Alphonso (1994). By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II, 3 February-3 March 1945. Bookmark, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. William J. Pomeroy, The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance, International Publishers Co, 1992, pp. 113-114
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Kasaysayan: History of the Filipino People, Volume 7. Reader's Digest. 1990.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Jose P". Angelfire. Retrieved 2007-10-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Philippine Presidency Project". Manuel L. Quezon III, et al. Retrieved 2007-10-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Gordon, Andrew (2003). The Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-19-511060-9. Retrieved 2008-04-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 *Smith, Ralph (1975). Changing Visions of East Asia, 1943-93: Transformations and Continuities. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38140-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "World War 2 Database: Philippines". Retrieved 17 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila,My Manila. Vera-Reyes, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Howe, Christopher. The Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy: Development and Technology in Asia. Retrieved 17 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Halili, M. C. Philippine History' 2004 Ed. Retrieved 17 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Agoncillo, Teodoro A. & Guerrero, Milagros C., History of the Filipino People, 1986, R.P. Garcia Publishing Company, Quezon City, Philippines
  13. Ocampo, Ambeth (2010). Looking Back 3: Death by Garrote. Anvil Publishing, Inc. pp. 22–25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Hartendorp, A. (1958) History of Industry and Trade of the Philippines, Manila: American Chamber of Commerce on the Philippines, Inc.
  15. "Constitution of the Second Philippine Republic". Retrieved 17 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Robert B. Kaplan, Richard B. Baldauf, Language and Language-in-Education Planning in the Pacific Basin, Springer, 2003, p. 72
  17. Agoncillo, Teodoro (1974). Introduction to Filipino History. Garotech Publishing. pp. 217–218.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "PROCLAMATION NO. 29". Retrieved 17 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. JOSE P. LAUREL. "PROCLAMATION NO. 30". Retrieved 25 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ooi, Keat Gin (2004). Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 776. ISBN 978-1-57607-770-2. Retrieved 27 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>