His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 10 December 2019
Subject: The Pacific War is not over, continuation of petition 300
Today is the International Day of Human Rights. An essential part of Human Rights are the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the preamble of the San Francisco Peace Treaty Japan pledged to conform to those.
In our petition 300 “The Pacific War is not over” we urge Japan to accept International Law as defined by the Charter of the United Nations, that war crimes cannot be exonerated by a peace treaty and that Japan must accept the perpetual liability for those crimes.
It surprised us that the new Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of The Netherlands stated that in the San Francisco Peace Treaty in accordance with article 11 Japan as nation was discharged from its liability from the war crimes committed by the Japanese military in occupying The Netherlands East Indies during the Pacific War. Article 11 of the Peace Treaty states: Quote Japan accepts the judgements of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan, and will carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan. The power to grant clemency, to reduce sentences and to parole with respect to such prisoners may not be exercised except on the decision of the Government or Governments which imposed the sentence in each instance, and on the recommendation of Japan. In the case of persons sentenced by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, such power may not be exercised except on the decision of a majority of the Governments represented on the Tribunal, and on the recommendation of Japan. Unquote.
Article 11 arranges how to deal with convicted war criminals but does not exonerate Japan from war crimes committed by its military, as suggested by the Ambassador.
It is very clear that in accordance with article 11 Japan cannot claim to be discharged from its liability for the war crimes committed by its military during the occupation of the Netherlands East Indies. The liability of Japan was confirmed on 30 November 1998 by the Tokyo Court. The Court admitted that members of Japanese military violated the The Hague Convention of 1907 and thus that Japan as nation is liable to pay compensation. The Tokyo Appellate Court confirmed on 11 October 2001 the verdict of the Tokyo Court. In cassation the compensation issue was not resolved as the cassation was dismissed by the Supreme Court on administrative grounds. Nevertheless Japan as nation remains liable for the War Crimes committed during the Japanese military occupation of The Netherlands East Indies.
It must be an honor for Japan, 75 years after Japan’s capitulation, to admit its liability and come to terms with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk