Petition # 302; May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.
His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 January 2020
Subject: May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.
The board and members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wish you, your Cabinet and the people of Japan a safe and prosperous New Year. An important year during which the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will attract much global interest. Also the year in which the world commemorates the end of World War II, 75 years ago. Since then Japan and the world paid much attention to peace and stability. Unfortunately it appears that the effects of that war are still not resolved satisfactorily for the individuals who endured the war. They still suffer from the memories and the pain both physically as well as emotionally. In this Olympic year Japan has the opportunity and should have the will to resolve the unfinished acknowledgement and indemnity due to the Dutch individuals who suffered so badly from Japans military occupation of the Netherlands East Indies. It is a great opportunity for Japan to show the world that it brings in practice the Olympic values of respect and social responsibility for their war time past.
Each second Tuesday of the month members of the Foundation demonstrate in front of the Japanese embassy in the Hague. The board of the Foundation presents to the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands this and previous petitions addressed to you as the Prime Minister of Japan.
During the demonstration we sing the Captives’ Hymn. A song which gave our parents and us children hope and belief that one day the occupation would be over. The first lines of each verse read as follows:
-Father, in captivity , we would lift our prayer to Thee.
-Give us patience to endure , keep our hearts serene and pure.
-For our country we would pray, in this hour be Thou her stay.
-For our loved one we would pray, be their guardian night and day.
-May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.
This hymn written and sung more than 75 years ago expresses hope and belief in a peaceful future. A future in which Japan will fulfill its prospects as you mentioned in your New Year’s Reflection.
Let 2020 also be a year that Japan recognizes that its future lies in understanding the consequences of its military history. It must be an honor for Japan, 75 years after the war, that during the Tokyo Olympics Japan considers this opportunity and comes to terms with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk