His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 13 September 2016
Subject: Move forward but don’t forget the past.
During the last 70 years Japan recovered successfully from the Pacific War, but failed to pay attention to the sufferings of the individual war victims. Nowadays Japan suffers from the prevailing global economic conditions in addition to the ill feelings of the war victims condemning this failure.
At the closing of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro you appeared as Super Mario. It was a great publicity stunt in promoting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and your country. By bringing the Olympic Solidarity home you have the opportunity to extend the Olympic Solidarity to the Pacific War victims and their dependents too. In preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games Japan must redress its military past. For you and your government a difficult task, but essential in improving Japan’s image and maintaining your export economy in the future.
During the same 70 years period Japan benefitted economically from the military and political protection by the United States of America and under the 1951 San Francisco Treaty. During this period Japan hardly considered its responsibility for the war victims it made during the Pacific War. The victims lost their lives or were molested by means of the unpunished and institutionalized war crimes by the Imperial Army. The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty did not terminate Japan’s responsibility for this. The Japanese legal point of view that the Peace Treaty indemnifies Japan defies the conventions of the United Nations. The individual victims and their dependents view Japan as a belligerent nation who remains liable for the war crimes of the Imperial Army during the Pacific War.
Do not forget the past while moving forward to a sustainable and honorable future. You as the prime leader of Japan, presenting yourself as Super Mario of the Tokyo Olympic Games, must take the initiative to include the Olympic Solidarity in considering the plight of the war victims of the past!
In our petitions we try to find a common ground in resolving our disagreement in dealing with the past. We consider it an insult that we do not receive your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions nor any initiative in bridging the gap of the disagreement. Please exercise your position and open a genuine dialogue.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk