Petition # 304: Apology

Petition # 304: Apology

i mrt 10th No Comments by

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.

Petition # 297: Rehabilitation of Justice

Petition # 297: Rehabilitation of Justice

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan  

The Hague, 13 August 2019
Petition: 297
Subject: Rehabilitation of Justice

Excellency, 
The day after tomorrow we recall Japan’s capitulation on 15thof August 1945. At the Dutch National Monument– the Indies Monument -in The Hague we remember the Dutch who died during Japan’s military occupation of the Dutch East Indies. It is a simple and moving occasion where survivors and next of kin mark the occasion and remember their loved ones, including those who died since then. Many generations attend: survivors, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They all make  one common demand:Japan, rehabilitate and do justice to the victims! It is not a legalistic request, but a request to respect and to honor the Dutch who lost but all. In short “Rehabilitation of Justice”.

Prime Minister,
We regret that this month your present Ambassador to The Netherlands, his Excellency Hiroshi Inomata, will be leaving his post. In the past 3 years we had with  him many discussions based on our monthly petition addressed to you as Prime Minister of Japan. As Ambassador he had his instructions and in our dialogue he was professional and consistent. With his understanding of our requests he kept, within his diplomatic brief, the dialogue going. Which prompted us to make suggestions to resolve Japan’s historic commitment in a unique and specific way. The Ambassador’s departure at this crucial moment is very regrettable as we suggested to you to take the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics to resolve Japan’s historic commitment.

Prime Minister,
It will take time for his Excellency Hiroshi Inomata’s successor to assess our position and our suggestions. We expect that the new Ambassador will be briefed in full so that he or she will  be able to continue the dialogue with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts. In particular, we hope that the new Ambassador is fully aware of the suggestion to resolve Japan’s historic commitment and that no time is wasted in  understanding the position.

Prime Minister,
It is in this respect of the utmost importance that you acknowledge receipt of this petition and consider the new Ambassador’s brief in rehabilitating justice. 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 296: Reparations for Dutch POW´s and Civilians transported to concentration camps by ship and train.

Petition # 296: Reparations for Dutch POW´s and Civilians transported to concentration camps by ship and train.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                  

The Hague, 9 July 2019
Petition: 296
Subject: Reparations for Dutch POW´s and Civilians transported to concentration camps by ship and train.

Excellency, 
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.

Prime Minister,
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! 

Prime Minister,
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
President.

Petition # 295: Formal acknowledgement of receipt!

Petition # 295: Formal acknowledgement of receipt!

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                

The Hague, 11 June 2019
Petition: 295
Subject: Formal acknowledgement of receipt!

Excellency, 
This is our 295thpetition. In 25 years we sent 294 petitions to successive Prime Ministers of Japan including you.  We never received a formal acknowledgement of receipt. It is time that you take note of this total disinterest in our so called dialogue. 

Prime Minister,
During the forthcoming Group 20 Summit on June 28 and 29 in Osaka you could show interest in our so called dialogue. We suggest that in the sidelines of the Summit you explore with his excellency the Minister President of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte. So that you can reconcile in the Reiwa era and rectify the moral obligations stemming from the Showa era, during which the individual Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies were denied respect and damages.

Prime Minister,
We learned that on the 23rdMay, during the Ministerial Council Meeting of the OECD in Paris, the suggestion was made by both the Foreign Minister of South Korea and her counterpart from Japan to raise Japan’s present dispute with South Korea in the sidelines of the Group 20 Summit. This is a good sign that disputes in the Reiwa (“beautiful harmony”) could be solved at the highest political level. We hope that you together with Minister President of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte will be able to explore and seek a resolve in our dispute. I am copying this petition to Minister President Mr. Mark Rutte so that he is aware of our request.

Prime Minister,
I am looking forward to an early and formal reply.
Do not disappoint me again.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.
Copy His Excellency the Minister President of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte.