The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "block of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers".
The Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe planned the Sphere in 1940 in an attempt to create a Great East Asia, comprising Japan, Manchukuo, China, and parts of Southeast Asia, that would, according to imperial propaganda, establish a new international order seeking "co prosperity" for Asian countries which would share prosperity and peace, free from Western colonialism and domination. Military goals of this expansion included naval operations in the Indian Ocean and the isolation of Australia.
This was one of a number of slogans and concepts used in the justification of Japanese aggression in East Asia in the 1930s through the end of World War II. The term "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" is remembered largely as a front for the Japanese control of occupied countries during World War II, in which puppet governments manipulated local populations and economies for the benefit of Imperial Japan.
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in Days of Infamy
The Kingdom of Hawaii was officially instated as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in 1942, after Japanese forces took the archipelago following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Stanley Owana Laanui was installed as a puppet ruler of Hawaii.
Some elderly and more conservative Japanese residents of Hawaii, such as Jiro Takahashi, were satisfied with becoming part of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
In reality the Co-Prosperity Sphere existed for the benefit of Japan first and foremost.