His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 October 2016
Subject: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.
At the opening of the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 13 September 2016 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights his Excellency Zeid Raʹad Al Hussein made it very clear that the Human Rights Council is focused on the rights and voices of victims. The Council’s clear and universal mandate to address human rights is not conditional on the approval of specific governments. It will always continue to seek the truth and stand up for the rights of all people.
In this context Mrs. Brigitte van Halder, Board member of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, presented, during the 33rd Session, in Geneva on 16 September 2016 the attached Oral statement on behalf of all victims of Japanese military terror in South East Asia during the Pacific war.
As you know the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts keeps a register of some 100,000 Dutch nationals from Dutch East Indies who all suffered from the systematic brutality of the Japanese military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies. Under the definitions of the United Nations the Japanese conduct qualifies as war crimes which cannot be limited and ignored by a peace treaty. Hence the request that Japan acknowledges without any reservations the past behaviour of the Japanese military and that Japan comes to lasting terms with and meets the requests of the NGO’s representing the victims. A solatium for these victims is long overdue. On the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly you pledged substantial sums of money for present day victims. It must be an honor for you to include in this pledge past victims too.
We are still awaiting receipt of our petitions. The insults continue!
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
Attachment: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts acts on behalf of former Dutch Prisoners of War and civilian internees who suffered during the Japanese occupation of South East Asia during WW ll.
Families were split up; they were treated harshly in separate camps for men and for women and children. Boys over 10 years of age were separated from their mothers. Those who, on racial grounds, were left outside of the camps were discriminated. All were submitted to forced labour, sexual slavery and other atrocities by the Japanese military.
Japan has a moral obligation to acknowledge the plight of war victims they caused during the Pacific War.
Nations who wage war cannot be exempted from impunity if their military commits war crimes. During wartime the UN conventions, and earlier the League of Nations conventions, protect civilians and POW’s in occupied territories.
Japan as a member of the UN ignores its responsibilities by denying the consequences of martial law. Victims suffered from systematic military terror. Many died of deliberately enforced starvation, lack of medicines and even of executions, ignoring the laws of war.
The Japanese military disregarded Human Rights on a large scale.
In accordance with UN conventions the crimes of the Japanese military qualify as war crimes, therefore are not limited by the 1951 San Francisco Peace treaty. The government of Japan continues to express the view that the war crimes issue has been resolved by the Peace Treaty.
Japan must acknowledge its responsibility for the war crimes of its military during the Pacific war. The Human Rights Council cannot ignore Japan’s past and present conduct ignoring UN conventions.
On behalf of all victims of Japanese military terror in South East Asia during the Pacific war we request the Human Rights Council to insist that the Japanese government acknowledges the past behaviour of the Japanese military without any reservations, and that Japan comes to lasting terms with UN approved NGO’s representing the victims.
Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your actions.