Petition # 288; ‘Few survivals are able to tell their true stories’ Wim Kan

Petition # 288; ‘Few survivals are able to tell their true stories’ Wim Kan

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Petition # 288; ‘Few survivals are able to tell their true stories’ Wim Kan

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 November  2018
Petition: 288
Subject: `Few survivors are able to tell their true stories` Wim Kan

Excellency,
The San Francisco Peace Treaty denied  a solatium to the individual Dutch victims of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies during 1941-1945. The Japanese and Dutch governments maintain that with the Yoshida-Stikker protocol it was agreed that the individual rights to compensate the Dutch from the Dutch East Indies were resolved. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts disagrees with this point of view.   The Japanese military war crimes inflicted illegal harm and considerable damage to the Dutch: violating the individual human rights. The rights to a solatium do not expire! This “Burden of Obligation”, as mentioned in our previous petition, has been confirmed by the recent Republic of Korea Supreme Court ruling.

Prime Minister,
Despite the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea the Supreme Court of Korea issued a ruling that runs counter to that treaty, resolving individual claims “completely and finally”. The ruling is based on the view that the 1965 agreement does not cover the issue of compensating individual victims. Similar to the Yoshida- Stikker protocol in which the Japanese war crimes were not addressed. In the court case of individual Dutch victims the lower Japanese Courts (Tokyo District Court and Tokyo Appellate Court) concluded that the Japanese Military violated The Hague Convention of 1907 (the human rights of the Dutch citizens) during the occupation of the Dutch East Indies. Both the Japanese government as well as the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts lodged against the judgement of the Appellate Court a cassation with the Japanese Supreme Court. The Japanese Supreme Court did not consider the rulings by the lower courts as they dismissed the cassation on administrative grounds.

Prime Minister,
In the caption of this petition we quote a statement made by a famous Dutch cabaret performer Wim Kan. The essence of that statement is very much alive and the reason why the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts continues its activities to seek acknowledgement and compensation.

We follow the developments in the Republic of Korea and would like to discuss the implications.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

Petition # 287: Giri “Burden of obligation”

Petition # 287: Giri “Burden of obligation”.

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 9 October 2018
Petition: 287
Subject: Giri “Burden of obligation”

Excellency,
We congratulate you on your re-election as Party President of the Liberal Democratic Party, thus the  favorite candidate for First Minister of Japan after the next election. In other words you have got the mandate to come to terms with the Dutch from Dutch Indies represented by the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts. It is not a legal problem but a moral problem which we understand is Giri, a Japanese value corresponding to a “Burden of Obligation”.

Prime Minister,
For the surviving Dutch victims and their next of kin, who never accepted and dismissed the legalistic point of view by the Japanese and Dutch governments,  this burden of obligation must be carried by the Japanese society: people, politicians and commerce. On that basis we feel that it is possible to come to agreeable terms for the moral obligations stemming from treatment by the Japanese military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies.

Prime Minister,
With your re-election as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party you are in a position to initiate “Giri” with respect to the Dutch from Dutch East Indies. They were interned in concentration camps and those outside the camps were as badly maltreated. They lost literally everything: their health, property, family and friends; all as a result of the Japanese occupation. Taking the initiative in the quest for a meaningful and quick solution should be part of your personal aim in building Japan into a “New Nation”. Thus applying Giri you resolve Japan’s war time past in an acceptable and traditional honorable Japanese way.

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

Petition # 286: Mutual respect

Petition # 286: Mutual respect.

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 September 2018
Petition: 286
Subject: Mutual respect

Excellency,
In many of our previous petitions we tried respectfully to come to terms with the unjust treatment of the Dutch by the Japanese military during the occupation of the Dutch East Indies. You and your predecessors neglected our suggestions.  Only the legalistic approach by successive Japanese Ambassadors in The Hague was communicated. A point of view which the surviving victims and their next of kin never accepted and dismissed as unethical and lacking empathy.

Prime Minister,
During more than 25 years the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, supported by more than 100.000 registered surviving Dutch victims, put forward that Japan has the moral obligation to acknowledge the behavior of its military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies. Therefore Japan must come to terms with the facts that during that occupation the Japanese military grossly violated the laws of war.

Prime Minister,
The relationship for more than 400 years between Japan and the Netherlands has been based on respect and empathy. Japanese business leaders keep saying that they feel at home in the Netherlands. When they are reminded about the black years during World War II they sympathize with our request and refer to you as the present political leader of Japan who should take the initiative and resolve our quest for a meaningful solution. As mandated again in the recent annual meeting of our members, the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is in a position to deal directly with you to seek that solution. In respect to those members we expect that you obtain a similar mandate.

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

Petition # 285 : We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018

Petition # 285 : We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018 .

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 14 August 2018

Petition: 285
Subject: We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018

Excellency,
Tomorrow, 15 August, we remember and honour the Dutch who died in and outside the concentration camps during the Japanese military occupation of the Dutch East Indies. For those who survived and are still alive it is a moment of reflection and sorrow. They remember the painful maltreatment, the unrestrained behaviour and the general misconduct of the Japanese military. The victims hardly talk about their experience not to burden their children, but also as people cannot believe that the Japanese Army did not have the discipline nor the decency to treat the Dutch war victims in accordance with the POW war conventions.  The occupation of the Dutch East Indies is a very black mark on the Japanese military history. Present apologies by post war Japanese governments are not accepted by the surviving victims, as Japan refuses to take its moral responsibility. The victims were not involved in those apologies. Hence they are of null and void value.

Prime Minister
We are very upset that in accordance with recently published documents it has become clear that Emperor Hirohito was very well aware of the planned attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military on the 7 December 1942. In a memo written by a member of the Japanese cabinet Michio Yuzawa on the same date, it is revealed that the Emperor had a conversation with Prime Minister Tojo informing him that the diplomatic discussions with Great Brittan and the United States were terminated and Pearl Harbor would be attacked. Thus starting the Pacific war, making Japan the aggressor and responsible for the material and immaterial damage. The Emperor supported in the conversation the Prime Minister and remarked “I think that we almost have won the war already“. The Emperor did not only support the war, but was part of it. His decision to capitulate on 15 August 1945 does not change that. The impression he wanted to give with his capitulation message, that he did not support the war effort, was politically motivated.  His responsibility to start the war remains. The present Japanese government cannot but accept that responsibility and come to terms with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts on moral grounds.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 284 : The departure of the United States of America from the UN Council Human Rights

Petition # 284 : The departure of the United States of America from the UN Council Human Rights

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 July 2018

Petition: 284
Subject: The departure of the United States of America from the UN Council Human Rights

Excellency,
The recent departure of the United States of America from the UN Human Rights Council is the appropriate time for Japan to (re)consider its Pacific War History. The political pressure by the United States of America to waive reparation to the individual Dutch victims of Japan’s occupation of Dutch East Indies in the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty is untenable. The war crimes which the individual victims had to undergo were simply ignored. A situation which at present remains in other areas of conflict were the United States of America are involved.

Prime Minister,
The Human Rights Council as an executive body of the United Nations issued many reports on the subject and concluded many times over that Japan has at least the moral obligation to resolve its past military history during the Pacific War. It advised to come to terms with the individual victims regardless the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Now that the United States of America has left the Human Rights Council it is opportune for Japan to take the initiative as suggested in my previous petition. It would benefit Japan as the nation who has not forgotten its militairy past and wants to settle its moral obligations.

Prime Minister,
We did not receive an acknowledgment nor any suggestions that you would take the initiative in this matter. As suggested we are willing to come to Japan to discuss a meaningful resolve for the individual victims of the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies during the Pacific War.

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts would like to investigate this further, together with your government, in order to come to a suitable reestablishment of mutual respect and solidarity.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 283 : The EU/Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Petition # 283: The EU/Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 June 2018

Petition: 283
Subject: The EU/Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Excellency,
In global terms it appears that commerce has taken over from morality.
In petition 272 of 11 July 2017 I suggested that the emotional relationship between the people of Japan and The Netherlands should benefit from the then forthcoming trade agreement.

The war wounds are still an open issue in that relationship.

Japanese and European commerce as well as the respective European countries and Japan  benefit from the Strategic Partnership. An element in that Partnership should address the sufferings of the Dutch during Japans´ occupation of Dutch East Indies.

Prime Minister,
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts would like to investigate this further, together with your government, in order to come to a suitable reestablishment of mutual respect and solidarity.

An initiative in this respect by you as Prime Minister of Japan would enhance not only our present dialogue, but would also demonstrate that your government is involved.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 282 : 4th of May Dutch Remembrance Day

Petition # 282 : 4th of May Dutch Remembrance Day

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 May 2018
Petition: 282
Subject: 4th of May Dutch Remembrance Day

Excellency,

Last week the Dutch remembered their dead and victims of World War Two in Europe and Asia.
King William and Queen Maxima attended the national ceremony at the Dam in Amsterdam.
I attended as President of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts and as a surviving victim.

As ever it was a moving and heartbreaking event. In particular during the two minutes of silence the memory of fear, horror and terror hit hard, but also the anger that so little is done for the surviving victims.

The main theme was the resistance by the Dutch to the occupiers both in the Netherlands as well as in Dutch East Indies. The Gestapo and Kempetai tortured and killed. They maimed the resistance in an atrocious manner disregarding humanity, the law of war and without any consideration.

After the war the German government acknowledged the wrongdoings by the Nazi’s and started a comprehensive and detailed Programme of showing regret and offering compensation to the victims. Each German knows about the facts of the war and what the Nazi’s did in occupied territories as well as at home. The Germans are still ashamed of their history and persue actively a new world of freedom, peace and solidarity.
Japan hardly tells the truth about the war, educates and informs its people poorly and above all it still denies any moral responsibility to the surviving victims in their occupied territories.

I left the ceremony sad and desolated. The Japanese people are still denied to learn the truth. Facing it would shock them and request acknowledgement of responsibility for the victims.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

Petition # 281 : Storytellers II

Petition #281 : StorytellersII

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 April 2018
Petition: 281
Subject: Storytellers Ⅱ

Excellency,

In our previous petition 280 “Storytellers” we emphasized that the Dutch story should be told also, both in Japan as well as around the world along with the Japanese testimonies on the nuclear fallout. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts as NGO accredited to the Human Rights Council in Geneva is entitled to present the Dutch story. On the 19thMarch 2018 we presented our story orally.

The full text is as follows:

Human Rights Council
37th session, February-March 2018
Oral Statement
Agenda item 6
UPR Japan

Mr President,

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, based in The Netherlands, requests the Human Rights Council to point out that the Government of Japan must clear its past honorably and directly with the victims of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention.

Despite many verbal apologies by successive Japanese Prime Ministers, Japan dismisses its obligations referring to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty in which it illegally absolved itself of its war crimes violating recognized principles of international humanitarian law and of the Third Geneva Prisoner of War Convention of 1949.

Japan’s arrogant waiving of the possibility to claim individually is hypocritical. To apologize for war crimes and not to redress the loss of health and property to the individual victims is rubbing salt in the still open wounds caused by the Japanese military terror and brutality.

Japan remains tainted and cursed for its past military atrocities secretly ordered or willfully permitted by the Japanese government and by the leaders of the armed forces. All war crimes.

The United Nations recognizes that war crimes and crimes against humanity are the greatest crimes in International Law and has placed no time limitations on claims regarding war crimes. The Japanese war crimes committed during the occupation of Dutch East Indies from 1941-1945 grossly violated United Nations’ instituted international law and cannot be absolved in the San Francisco Peace Treaty nor the Stikker-Yoshida Protocol.

Japan’s claim that the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and Stikker-Yoshida agreement dealt with the reparation issue discard International Law and United Nations conventions. The Japanese government as High Contracting party has still to come to terms with the individual Dutch victims, and not with the Dutch government.

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts urges that the Human Rights Council recommends the Government of Japan to resolve this long lasting issue respectfully and honorably.

Thank you for your attention.

Prime Minister,

As such there is no debate between the presenter of the oral statement and the representatives of the delegates. However it was clear that our request was noted and will be considered in Japan’s UPR.

We look forward to your reaction.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 280 : Storytellers

Petition # 280: Storytellers

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 March 2018
Petition: 280
Subject: Storytellers

Excellency,
According to Japan Today “the Japanese government will fund from April the travel costs of storytellers, within Japan and abroad, who will share the testimonies given by aging victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Storytellers have been trained by Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan earmarked 30 million yen ( $ 280,000) in the draft fiscal 2018 budget to fund the program. The government will also conduct English lessons for messengers ahead of overseas trips.”
The volunteers, who would tell their horrific story of the nuclear fallout, have been trained to pass on their personal experience. We welcome the financial support by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in making the funds available, but expect that no political interferences nor suggestions are made by the Ministry. The volunteers must tell their own story. Any indoctrination that Japan was a victim of western aggression while not acknowledging that Japan started the Pacific War is not acceptable and counterproductive.

Prime Minister,
In our previous petition we pointed out that: “Japan’s moral responsibility is hardly known by the Japanese people. The educational curricula of schools and universities do not tell the true historical war facts. The Japanese political, academic and media establishment turn a blind eye to the Japanese war crimes and their gruesome details avoiding unpleasant questions.” The initiative by The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare should be expanded to include the Ministry of Education to fund the storytelling volunteers, including the surviving victims of the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during the war at home as well as in the occupied territories.

Prime Minister,
In the Netherlands we have an organization of volunteers “Gastdocenten” whose members tell their personal stories on behalf of the 40.000 victims still alive, but also of the Dutch victims who died as a result of the Japanese military terror. They bring in perspective that the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war by Japan to an end saving the lives of many, both military and civilians. This story should also be told both in Japan as well as around the world in conjunction with the testimonies on the nuclear fallout as part of building the bridges between Japan and the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

Looking forward to your personal reply,

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #279: Building bridges

Petition #279: Building bridges

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 February 2018
Petition: 279
Subject: Building bridges

Excellency,
In our previous petition we pleaded for a reconsideration of Japan’s position on the Yoshida-Stikker agreement concerning victims’ dignity and rights in accordance with international law. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s project for Peace and Friendship Exchanges was criticized and rejected as Japan did not want to acknowledge its responsibility to the victims. The attempts by other Prime Ministers failed to get the approval of the Diet. In the view of many Japan has a history of aggression and crimes against humanity, with total absence of genuine remorse. The common view outside Japan is that Japan must acknowledge the facts and, although it is nearly 75 years ago, there is a pressing need for Japan to come to terms with the victims of the Imperial Army’s misconduct during the Pacific War. The present government of Japan as successor of the Japanese war cabinet is still responsible for the shame and damage the Imperial Army committed during the Pacific War.

Prime Minister,
Japan’s moral responsibility is hardly known by the Japanese people. The educational curricula of schools and universities do not tell the true historical war facts. The Japanese political, academic and media establishment turn a blind eye to the Japanese war crimes and their gruesome details avoiding unpleasant questions.
In 1998 the Tokyo District Court confirmed that the misconduct by members of the Imperial Army was in violation of the 1907 Hague convention and illegal. In accordance with the IV Geneva Convention this fact could not be absolved by the San Francisco Peace Treaty. For political and economic reasons the governments, party to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, did not impose Japan to acknowledge, to apologize and to pay compensation to the victims directly.
Bridging the gap between the legalistic point of view taken by successive post war Japanese governments, the international law principles of the Human Rights Council and our overriding moral view requires careful consideration in finding a solution. Building the bridges to arrive at a satisfactory acknowledgement, apology and compensation the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts requests your immediate personal attention and direction in order to reach this achievement during your term as Prime Minister.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President