His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 8 May 2018
Subject: 4th of May Dutch Remembrance Day
Last week the Dutch remembered their dead and victims of World War Two in Europe and Asia.
King William and Queen Maxima attended the national ceremony at the Dam in Amsterdam.
I attended as President of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts and as a surviving victim.
As ever it was a moving and heartbreaking event. In particular during the two minutes of silence the memory of fear, horror and terror hit hard, but also the anger that so little is done for the surviving victims.
The main theme was the resistance by the Dutch to the occupiers both in the Netherlands as well as in Dutch East Indies. The Gestapo and Kempetai tortured and killed. They maimed the resistance in an atrocious manner disregarding humanity, the law of war and without any consideration.
After the war the German government acknowledged the wrongdoings by the Nazi’s and started a comprehensive and detailed Programme of showing regret and offering compensation to the victims. Each German knows about the facts of the war and what the Nazi’s did in occupied territories as well as at home. The Germans are still ashamed of their history and persue actively a new world of freedom, peace and solidarity.
Japan hardly tells the truth about the war, educates and informs its people poorly and above all it still denies any moral responsibility to the surviving victims in their occupied territories.
I left the ceremony sad and desolated. The Japanese people are still denied to learn the truth. Facing it would shock them and request acknowledgement of responsibility for the victims.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk