It hurts the victims of the Japanese military war terror that ministers of your government and members of the Japanese parliament continue to visit the Yasukuni Shrine allegedly honoring Japan’s war dead. As you know among the dead honored by the visits are 14 former World War Two war leaders convicted of war crimes. This time you did not visit the Yasukuni shrine, but you paid for equipment made of wood and fabric, bearing you name and title, decorating an altar at the Yasukuni Shrine. Indirectly thus you approved the Yasukuni visits by your party members. These visits hurt. They deny Japan’s vicious and brutal military history and demonstrate that Japan did not learn from its past. How often do we have to tell you this? Excuses are meaningless as long as you approve of these insults.
What a contrast to the Dutch remembrance on May 4th. The Dutch remembered their war dead both in Europe and in Asia at the Dam monument. Our new King and Queen laid a wreath and paid respect to those who died. Both were visibly moved and emotionally involved. The former commander of all Dutch military forces General Van Uhm reflected on war and the egocentric attitude of those who glorify war for their personal benefit. He strongly advised all to remember the consequences of war and its criminal aspects. War mongers have no respect for others but for themselves. ”Not you nor me, but we all must adhere this advice.”
However it appears that you and your party continue to glorify Japan’s military past. Changing the constitution and remembering the effective date of the San Francisco Peace treaty does not revive Japan’s economy. It does not restore a sense of hope and determination for the future. In practice it is contrary; as long as Japan does not acknowledge its World War Two moral responsibility to the victims and their next of kin Japan’s relations in the world will be strained and suspect.
You cannot pass this responsibility to your and Japan’s children.
Germany did not need a peace treaty to recognize that there was hope and determination for the future. The post war leaders of Germany recognized immediately after the war that the German nation would never be trusted again as long as they did not acknowledge the wrongdoings during World War Two. They paid respect, acknowledged and compensated for their wrongdoings.
Japan used the San Francisco Peace Treaty only to its own benefit, avoided its moral obligations and will remain haunted for it. In the meantime Japan hurts the victims by visiting the Yasukuni shrine.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk