Yosuke Matsuoka; Wikimedia Commons

“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.”

– Japan’s Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka at the opening of the Thai-French Indo-China border dispute conference

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (大東亞共榮圈) was a concept proposed by Imperial Japan in the 1930s  for occupied Asian populations,  The Japanese proposal promoted cultural and economic unity of Northeast Asians, Southeast Asians, and Oceanians and urged the creation of a self-sufficient bloc of Asian nations led by Japan and free of Western powers.