Petition # 306: The war is still with us.

Petition # 306: The war is still with us.

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Petition # 306: The war is still with us. 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                            

The Hague, 12 May 2020 
Petition: 306
Subject:  The war is still with us. 

Excellency, 
On May 4th, in a moving speech at the National Monument in Amsterdam, His Royal Highness King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander remembered the war 75 years ago. On a virtually empty Dam, due to the Corona pandemic, he expressed his feelings that all of us are deeply involved in the annual remembrance of those who died during the war in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including Dutch East Indies and at sea. And that our thoughts were also with those who survived and lost their dearests. The empty chairs in the church, De Nieuwe Kerk, were symbolic for those who did not return. The war continues to influence generations. The war is still with us. Those who returned to The Netherlands, often with unparalleled physical and mental disorders, they remember. Many of the survivors remained silent, but still suffer from their horrendous experiences.  The King made it as his Message that we cannot look away-, cannot explain away-, cannot wipe away- nor separate and not to make normal which is not normal. In view of the Corona virus we had to give up some of our freedom. That is different from losing freedom to an occupant with an ideology without empathy, killing millions in battles and concentration camps and outside those camps. 

Prime Minster,
We will never forget without remembering the past. It is up to us, the present generations, to speak on behalf of the dead and the survivors, 75 years after the war ended. Now the Corona virus is hitting us all hard. Every day there is sadness and mourning. The people of The Netherlands and Japan share the fear and insecurity. It is a new situation which we hope will be over soon so that we can go back to normal. At the same time, it is an opportunity to reflect. Since 15th August 1945, the Dutch from Dutch East Indies, who lost but all, were hoping that they could return to their homes and rebuild on the war loses. This was not to be. Similarly, the Japanese people hoped that ending the war would bring a new beginning. Global politics and lack of empathy with the survivors created a world without mercy and compassion. The Corona virus brought us all back to that same unfinished situation. 
In the restart after Corona we must try not to repeat the unfinished business of acknowledgment and compassion and remember the historic obligation of Japan to the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

Prime Minister,
In view of the extremely strict social distancing rules in The Netherlands I will be handing over the envelope with today’s petition to the Japanese Ambassador in The Hague. 
Since we do not have the customary discussion with the Ambassador, I would welcome a personal reply from you or a letter from the Ambassador with your personal views.
I look forward to your reply or message.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 305: Past Corona Epidemic.

Petition # 305: Past Corona Epidemic.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 14 April 2020                                     
Petition: 305
Subject:  Past Corona Epidemic 

Excellency, 
The present Corona Epidemic reminds us of the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies. The Dutch were singled out and locked up in concentration camps or in their homes. Again, we are not free, now during peace time. Now we are locked up in our own homes to stop spreading the Corona virus. The rest of the world is suffering unwillingly from their lock up or similar measures. The death toll is mounting and horrendous. In comparing the present situation with our experience, we do feel that we have seen it all before. We hope however that treatment and medicine, when it is found, will be made available and used. We respect and admire the doctors, nurses and the people who care for the patients and their next of kin. They were hardly there when we had to endure the lock up in Dutch East Indies. The surviving Dutch, now at least 75 years old, are extremely vulnerable and at risk. They are still strongly willed to survive the Corona Epidemic as they survived the Japanese military lock up of Dutch East Indies during World War II.

Prime Minister,
The side effects of the present Corona Epidemic to the survivors of the Japanese lock up are devastating. It brings back the hunger, the abuse, the brutality and the failure of Japan to acknowledge her moral responsibility for the inhumanity to the then surviving Dutch and the next of kin of those who did not survive. Japan, you and your cabinet are very focused on surviving the present Corona Epidemic but must review the future also in this context.  In previous petitions we made the point to rectify the past in view of the future. It is now more important than ever to consider that future in the hope that many of your people and our people will survive the Corona virus in a better world respecting the past.

Prime Minister,
Today I will be handing over this petition to your Ambassador in The Hague. Traditionally this takes place on the second Tuesday of each month during which we discuss the context of the petition with the Ambassador. In view of the very strict social distancing rules in The Netherlands I will be handing over the envelope with the petition to a member of the Embassy staff. More than ever I would welcome a personal reply from you despite your very pressing agenda. I look forward to that reply.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Mitsubishi weigert gesprek slachtoffers!

Ondanks dringend verzoek van AHC Eneco weigert Mitsubishi in gesprek te gaan met J.E.S.

Hieronder de brief van de aandeelhouderscommissie Eneco, d.d: 23 maart 2020

Stichting Japanse Ereschulden
Tav. J. van Wagtendonk
Platinaweg 25
2544 EZ ‘s-Gravenhage

Geachte heer Van Wagtendonk ,

Nadat de Aandeelhouderscommissie Eneco (hierna: AHC1) het consortium van Mitsubishi Corporation en Chubu Electric Power heeft geselecteerd als voorgenomen koper van de aandelen van Eneco, heeft u bij verschillende gemeenteraden van aandeelhoudende gemeenten aandacht gevraagd voor het oorlogsverleden van Mitsubishi. Onder meer door uw aangrijpende betoog heeft de AHC kennis kunnen nemen van de schokkende verhalen van de krijgsgevangenen die tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog dwangarbeid hebben verricht voor Japan. De AHC heeft een groot respect voor de wijze waarop u opkomt voor de slachtoffers en nabestaanden die gedurende de Tweede Wereldoorlog hebben geleden onder het Japanse regime.
Namens de AHC wens ik u te informeren over het vervolg dat de commissie hier aan heeft gegeven. Zoals aan u is toegezegd heeft de AHC de verhalen en de zorgen overgebracht aan vertegenwoordigers van Mitsubishi Corporation en hen verzocht om in contact te treden met de slachtoffers en hun vertegenwoordigers. In reactie daarop heeft Mitsubishi Corporation afwijzend gereageerd op het verzoek van de aandeelhouders, onder verwijzing naar haar formele oprichtingsdatum in 1954.
Ook heeft de commissie de kwestie geadresseerd bij het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. De minister van Buitenlandse Zaken heeft in een reactie laten weten dat de kwestie formeel is afgedaan met het vredesverdrag van San Fransisco (1951) en het Yoshida-Stikker Akkoord (1956). Wel zouden excuses uit eigen beweging van Mitsubishi aan Nederlandse slachtoffers die voor het Mitsubishiconglomeraat dwangarbeid hebben verricht zeker welkom zijn en een belangrijke bijdrage kunnen leveren aan de verwerking van het traumatisch oorlogsverleden. Ten slotte laat de minister weten dat de Nederlandse overheid de Japanse overheid heeft gewezen op de wensen van Stichting Japanse Ereschulden.

1 De Aandeelhouderscommissie coördineert het verkoopproces en bestaat uit verschillende aandeelhoudende gemeenten.

Aandeelhouderscommissie Eneco

Namens de AHC hoop ik u hiermee voldoende te hebben geïnformeerd,

Met vriendelijke groet.

Petition # 304: Apology

Petition # 304: Apology

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 March 2020 
Petition: 304
Subject:  Apology

Excellency, 
In the previous petition 303 “A nation which ignores its history, is most likely to repeat it” the subject of apology was addressed. The petition was rebuked by the remark that Japan made numerous apologies. 
Recently the mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, apologized to the Japanese families who lost their loved ones in the collapse of the CTV building during an earthquake. The incident happened 9 years ago. The apology was made as it was the City Council of Christchurch who approved the building permit of CTV building inadequately, resulting in the collapse during the earthquake. 23 Japanese students lost their lives among them Megumi, daughter of Kazuo Horita.

Prime Minister,
Mr. Horita accepted the apology by the mayor, but was not satisfied. The Japanese families who lost their next of kin want accountability by the authorities i.e. compensation. In the same way the Dutch from Dutch East Indies who hold the Japanese government accountable for the incarceration of innocent Dutch civilians and conscripted military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies.
The Japanese government must have the moral will to accept accountability in the same way as the US government accepted moral responsibility for the incarceration of the Japanese during the war and paid $ 20,000 to the survivors to redress them. 

Prime Minister,
The San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Yoshida-Stikker protocol did not address the moral responsibility of Japan as it stated that it did not have the financial means at that time. In the present world legalistic arguments are also subject to the morality of these arguments. The Dutch individuals from Dutch East Indies are repeating that what Japan did during World War Two was morally wrong and must be rectified. Many of them are dead by now, but their next of kin suffer. The present survivors and the next of kin of those who died will continue to press the moral issue.

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 303: A nation which ignores its history, is most likely to repeat it.

Petititon 303 #: A nation which ignores its history, is most likely to repeat it.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 February 2020
Petition: 303
Subject:  A nation which ignores its history, is most likely to repeat it.

Excellency, 
On January 26th his Excellency the Minister President of The Netherlands addressed, remembering the Holocaust, the Jewish community in The Netherlands. He apologized for the way Dutch authorities during World War Two ignored and even assisted the Nazi occupiers in prosecuting the Dutch Jews, Roma and Sinti. He questioned openly and emotionally: How could this happen? How could so much hate, cruelty and lawlessness  exist?

The answer is dark and confronts.

After the war, when the Netherlands was freed from the German occupation, the few who returned from hell were received with ignorance. All together there was  too little support, too little assistance, too little acknowledgement of the conditions. The German occupation was merciless. In The Netherlands a state of terror and fear existed.  How could it happen? In saying ’no more Auschwitz’’ he means  to acknowledge and to take account that what happened  must not  be repeated. He was very clear:
”Now that there are still survivors under us:
 I offer, on behalf of the Dutch government, excuses for the way the Dutch government acted then. 

Prime Minister
The Dutch Minister President was courageous in his statement on behalf of the present government,  he had  very much in mind: “A nation which ignores its history, is most likely to repeat it.”  He called to be alert so that it would not happen again.

Prime Minster
It  is 75 years ago that the Pacific War ended. It is also nearly 70 years that the San Francisco Peace treaty was signed. In that treaty Japan promised “to conform to internationally fair practices”. I hope and expect that you on behalf of your government and the Japanese people will show the same courage as the Dutch Minister President did. That you will come to terms with your war and acknowledge Japan’s responsibility to the individual  Dutch victims who suffered from Japan’s military occupation of Dutch East Indies during the Pacific War.

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 302: May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.

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
Petition: 302
Subject:  May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.

Excellency, 
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. 

Prime Minister
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.

Prime Minister
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
President.

Petition # 301: The Pacific War is not over, continuation of petition 300

Petition # 301: The Pacific War is not over, continuation of petition 300

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 December 2019
Petition: 301
Subject:  The Pacific War is not over, continuation of petition 300

Excellency,
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.

Prime Minister
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.

Prime Minister
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
President.

Petition # 300: The Pacific War is not over!

Petition # 300: The Pacific War is not over! 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 November 2019
Petition: 300
Subject:  The Pacific War is not over! 

Excellency, 
Every day we are personally reminded of the 1941-1945 Pacific war. We suffer from the loss of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who were, willfully, at the hands of the Japanese military in the name of the Emperor, after bestial treatment, killed or starved to death.  In 300 petitions we asked the Prime Minister of Japan to help us with this unbearable burden. We still await a meaningful reply. Ignoring  300 petitions is offensive, rude and  lacks any respect for the survivors of  the Pacific War who suffered so badly by your people.

Prime Minister,
How can we forget how our grandfathers/mothers, our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, our other relatives and friends were killed by the Japanese military and their assistants? How can we forget the treatment and intimidation we had to undergo in the concentration camps or outside those camps? The Pacific War is not over for us! Japan must accept International  Law, that war crimes cannot be exonerated by a peace treaty and must accept the perpetual liability for those crimes.

Prime Minister
The personal stories of the members of the board of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts are well known by your Ambassador and his staff in The Hague. The Pacific War is not over for us and the members of the Foundation. We mourn our loved ones and try to cope with our traumas. The older we get the more vivid we remember the horrors caused by the Japanese military. We cannot forget. It is very painful for us. We are filled with rage that, 75 years after Japan’s capitulation in 1945, neither politically nor publically that there are  no signs that Japan repents the war crimes by the Imperial Army and Navy during the Pacific War of 1941-1945.

Prime Minister 
A formal receipt of this 300th   petition is the least you can do. 
The Pacific War is not over.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 299 : The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

Petition 299# : The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                         

The Hague, 8 October 2019
Petition: 299
Subject:  The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

Excellency, 
On the forthcoming occasion of the inauguration of Emperor Naruhito you have the opportunity to call for a new opening to our dialogue. It will not only pay respect to Emperor Showa’s regrets, but also it will demonstrate Japan’s willingness to respect, from a historic point of view, its future relationship with the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It fits with your “sobering sense in reassessing Japan’s post war diplomacy”.

Prime Minister,
The presence of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at the inauguration should strengthen  your willingness to reassess Japan’s Second World War military history. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is ready, on behalf of the Dutch citizens from the Netherlands East Indies occupied by Japan during World War Two, to deepen the dialogue. 

Prime Minister,
I refer to Emperor Showa as presented to you in our previous petition 298. “Emperor Showa could not express his “deep shame” and responsibility that he could not stop the military under Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. It was Emperor Showa’s wish to reflect and not repeat all the bad things done by the Japanese War Government and its Imperial Military. In the spirits of Emperor Showa you must consider Japan’s historic duty.” 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

We are looking forward to be hearing from you soon,

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 298: Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize

Petition: 298: Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 September 2019
Petition: 298
Subject:  Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize.

Excellency, 
Documents published by NHK record, according to Mr. Michiji Tajima, first grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency during the reign of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, that Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize on the World War II in 1952. Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida opposed the Emperor’s plan to publicly express regret and remorse, as “it could prompt people to say he was responsible for starting the war or Japan’s defeat.” Emperor Showa could not express his “deep shame” and responsibility that he could not stop the military under Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

Prime Minister,
As you know the same Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida signed the San Francisco Peace treaty on 8 September 1951, recognizing that “Japan should pay reparations for damage and suffering caused during the war”.However at that time it was recognized that Japan did not have sufficient resources to make complete reparations. Everyone wanted peace and felt that Japan should be given the opportunity to restore itself. The political pressure on the Dutch government was immense to accept that Japan would not reimburse individual victims. It forced the Dutch Minister of foreign affairs Mr. Stikker to sign the Yoshida-Stikker agreement preventing the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies to claim individual reparation. The basic constitutional rights of the individual Dutch were waived in favour of global peace. Since then Japan has the resources to make good the individual reparations. In good faith  the Japanese government must consider an ex gratia arrangement involving the surviving Dutch victims. 

Prime Minister,
It was Emperor Showa’s wish to reflect and not repeat all the bad things done by the Japanese War Government and its Imperial Military. In the spirits of Emperor Showa you must consider Japan’s historic duty. The consequences of the belligerent parties of World War II are still not completed. It was the Chancellor of Germany Mrs. Merkel who called on Japan to straighten out pending matters in good faith.  Recently the German President Mr. Steinmeier asked the Polish people to pardon the German occupation of Poland during World War II. Japan must follow Germany’s example as Emperor Showa intended! The forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo are the moment to reconcile Japan’s military history and to follow Mrs. Merkel call.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.