Today I came across some documents from the office of José Laurel when he was “commissioner” of the Philippines in 1942.
In 1942 the Philippines had just come under Japanese occupation. Laurel was left by departing president Manuel Quezon to work with the Japanese. He served first as commissioner, but then was selected to serve as president in 1943.
The documents that I was looking at are various letters that he wrote, and some that he received, during that period.
One letter that Laurel received was from Masaharu Homma.
Masaharu Homma was a very complex man. He led the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. He was regarded by some Japanese as too soft, and by Americans after the war as responsible for the atrocities that occurred during the Bataan Death March.
On 21 July 1942, Masaharu Homma wrote a letter to José Laurel in which he said,
My dear Mr. Laurel,
It is very nice of you to have given me your various works and studies of which I have heard highly spoken. I will read them with pleasure. I thank you very much.
Masaharu Homma was executed in 1946 by a firing squad of American and Filipino troops.