The Hague, 9 April 2019
Subject: Japan´s new Imperial era Reiwa, a new commitment recognizing the past?
His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
You announced that Japan will be entering into a new era on May 1st following the abdication of Emperor Akihito who is to be succeeded by his son Crown Prince Naruhito. As the new Emperor he will be confronted with an ever rapidly and changing world. During Reiwa it is expected that the Japanese government will have the will and courage to rectify the moral obligations stemming from the Showa era, during which the San Francisco Treaty was agreed and the state of war was terminated.
The present Japanese and Dutch generations did not suffer from the setbacks of war the older generations are still experiencing. The Japanese governments have institutionally refused to recognize the individual sufferings by the war victims both at home as well as in the occupied territories, ignoring the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty. The Peace Treaty stipulated:
quote Recognizing that Japan should pay reparations for the damage and suffering caused during the war. Nevertheless it is also recognized that the resources of Japan are notpresently sufficient, if it is to maintain a viable economy, to make complete reparation for all such damage and suffering and at the same time meet other obligations, unquote.
From 1952 Japan has been, economically successful, and had the means, if it had the will, to pay reparations to individual victims for the damage and suffering caused during the war. The Yoshida-Stikker protocol of 1956 was a shameful solatium restricted and limited to ex civil internees. It did not pay for the damage and suffering of the Dutch from the Dutch East Indies.
In the new era an honorable attempt must be made to rectify and to fulfill the clear inattention of Japan’s recognition to pay reparations. In 2020 it will be 75 years ago that the war was ended. The appropriate moment to reconfirm Japan’s commitment to global peace and to comply with the intentions and the purpose of the San Francisco Peace treaty.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, representing the Dutch victims of the Japanese military occupation of the Dutch East Indies, request an early reply to comply.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk