His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 June 2016
Subject: “Innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time”
The above mentioned quote from President Barack Obama’s speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Friday 27 May 2016 is a clear acknowledgement how World War II ended. A war started by Japan and lost badly due to the stubbornness of the Imperial Army. The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Emperor to overcome that stubbornness by surrendering on 15 August 1945. President Obama made it clear that: “We have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.” In finalizing his speech he made it abundantly clear and in fact commanded: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the start of our moral awakening”.
The command by President Obama to press for a moral awakening is remarkable. A few days later it would appear that the German parliament took that message in acknowledging the Armenian genocide committed by the Turkish army 100 years ago. The German parliament ignored strong protests by Turkey and in particular it’s President.
The people of the territories occupied by Japan during World War II are still holding Japan accountable for war crimes and the atrocities by the Imperial Army. They, including the Dutch from Dutch East Indies, keep talking about Japan’s behavior during World War II, the atrocities, the war crimes and the lack of shame for what was done to their people in the name of the Emperor. They warn not to glorify the perpetrators of that war, but also point to the present government of Japan in not coming forward with a sustainable atonement.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts welcomes President Obama’s call for a moral awakening. You and your government should adhere to this call.
We are ready to seek a solution.
Japan can ill afford to wait 100 years!
We are still looking forward to your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions. That is long overdue.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk