His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 9 July 2019
Subject: Reparations for Dutch POW´s and Civilians transported to concentration camps by ship and train.
We believe that you met the Minister President of the Netherlands, his Excellency Mr. Mark Rutte, in the sidelines of the G 20 Osaka Summit. We expect that you, among other topics, reviewed with him our request to consider Japan´s moral obligations stemming from the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies during World War II. We did not expect any communiqué but look forward to your suggestions to settle Japan´s Honorary Debts. Next year, 75 years after the end of World War II, all countries congregate in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. In the spirits of the Olympics the Japanese government must persue all efforts to find an agreement to solve the Honorary Debts to the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies.
Recently the Dutch Railway Company (NS)announced to settle its honorary debt in transporting more than 100.000 Jews, Roma and Sinti to the Nazi concentration camps. According to the president of NS transporting Jews, Roma and Sinti and others, ordered by the German military, during World War II is “a black page in the history of NS”. NS apologized in 2005 and will now, on the suggestion by a special independent commission, pay reparations as a moral gesture to survivors or, if they are no longer alive, to their next of kin. NS was paid by the German authorities for transporting the victims!
During the occupation of the Netherlands East Indies by the Japanese military Dutch citizens and POW’s were transported to Japanese concentration camps established in Japanese occupied territories as well as in Japan. They were transported by train and ship under insufferable circumstances. The Japanese military ( Navy and Army) ordered Japanese shipping companies to transport Dutch POW’s and citizens. Many died during the transport or as a consequence of the inhumane conditions on board of the so-called Hell Ships. The shipping companies were paid by the Japanese government! As an act of moral chivalry, it must be an honour for the Japanese shipping companies or their present successors to apologize and pay reparations to the survivors or, if they are no longer alive, their next of kin. Like NS will do to the holocaust victims.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk