Jose P. Laurel and Jorge B. Vargas: Issues of Collaboration and Loyalty during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines

Jonathan Black, Claremont Mckenna College


In this paper I looked at the actions that were taken by Jose P. Laurel and Jorge Vargas during the occupation of the Philippines country by Japanese Imperial forces during World War II. I was mostly interested in the idea of loyalties that occurred in places that were occupied throughout history and what constituted the lines that would be drawn when the leaders of those countries decided to do what was best for their people. I started by researching the many of the Occupied countries of Japan and determined one in which there was a more controversial and grayed line of collaboration that occurred. I chose the Philippines mostly because of their relationship with the United States and to see how that factor affected the ideas of collaboration and loyalty. I mostly found that these men got most of their influences from their previous experiences in life but mostly form the last instructions that were given to them by Gen. MacArthur and their President. Ultimately they did not claim loyalty to the Japanese even though they collaborated with the Japanese. This is important in giving a good view into what needs to be done in order t preserve the nation state when being occupied by an invading force. It also explores the lines and interpretations of the definition of loyalty in these situations.