His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 August 2015
Petition: 249 Subject: The moral way to acknowledge and pay respect to history
On 15th of August 2015 you will be judged on your anniversary statement. Judged as to whether you are a true, globally accepted, statesman who is preparing Japan for its future by addressing its history, its moral responsibilities for past war attrocities and the consequences thereof? Or are you trapped in your personal past and political position by former apologies that lacked the acceptance of responsibilities and reparation? In this milestone year Japan cannot hide behind the legal defense of the San Francisco Peace Treaty; you must surely feel morally obliged to consider the cruel experiences of the victims of the Japanese military terror.
In our petition 247 we stated that Japan’s wartime legacy will continue to haunt Japan now and in the future. The economic costs to Japan and its people in denying the past are substantial both in lost opportunities as well as in self-defense. You as Prime Minister of Japan on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two are in the position, together with unanimous support of both Houses of the Diet, to acknowledge and redress the past honorably and sustainably.
Mitsubishi Materials Corporation offered the most remorseful apology to the POW’s from the USA who suffered harsh, severe hardship while forced to work in Mitsubishi mines and industrial plants. An unprecedented apology from a major Japanese company. Mr. Yukio Okamoto, an outside board member of the company, sought forgiveness for not apologizing earlier. In a further statement Mitsubishi Materials hopes also to apologize to former British, Dutch and Australian World War II POW’s, and reach an amicable solution with Chinese forced laborers. Mitsubishi’s initiative is a loud and clear signal that Japanese companies recognize that the 70th anniversary of the ending of World War II will scrutinize Japan’s attitude in resolving its war time responsibilities. Other Japanese companies cannot ignore Mitsubishi’s initiative but will follow suit. Why must they lead and your government follow?
The leaders of Mitsubishi Materials accept moral responsibility for the past as they are part of the global business community and want to survive for the future. On the 70th anniversary it is time for your government to accept the consequences of Japan’s World War II past and finally resolve this unhappy matter!
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk