Petition #263: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.

Petition #263: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 October 2016
Petition: 263
Subject: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.
Excellency,
At the opening of the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 13 September 2016 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights his Excellency Zeid Raʹad Al Hussein made it very clear that the Human Rights Council is focused on the rights and voices of victims. The Council’s clear and universal mandate to address human rights is not conditional on the approval of specific governments. It will always continue to seek the truth and stand up for the rights of all people.
In this context Mrs. Brigitte van Halder, Board member of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, presented, during the 33rd Session, in Geneva on 16 September 2016 the attached Oral statement on behalf of all victims of Japanese military terror in South East Asia during the Pacific war.

Prime Minister,
As you know the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts keeps a register of some 100,000 Dutch nationals from Dutch East Indies who all suffered from the systematic brutality of the Japanese military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies. Under the definitions of the United Nations the Japanese conduct qualifies as war crimes which cannot be limited and ignored by a peace treaty. Hence the request that Japan acknowledges without any reservations the past behaviour of the Japanese military and that Japan comes to lasting terms with and meets the requests of the NGO’s representing the victims. A solatium for these victims is long overdue. On the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly you pledged substantial sums of money for present day victims. It must be an honor for you to include in this pledge past victims too.

Prime Minister,
We are still awaiting receipt of our petitions. The insults continue!

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
President
Attachment: Oral statement at the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.

 

Attachment:

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Mr. President,

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts acts on behalf of former Dutch Prisoners of War and civilian internees who suffered during the Japanese occupation of South East Asia during WW ll.
Families were split up; they were treated harshly in separate camps for men and for women and children. Boys over 10 years of age were separated from their mothers. Those who, on racial grounds, were left outside of the camps were discriminated. All were submitted to forced labour, sexual slavery and other atrocities by the Japanese military.

Japan has a moral obligation to acknowledge the plight of war victims they caused during the Pacific War.

Nations who wage war cannot be exempted from impunity if their military commits war crimes. During wartime the UN conventions, and earlier the League of Nations conventions, protect civilians and POW’s in occupied territories.

Japan as a member of the UN ignores its responsibilities by denying the consequences of martial law. Victims suffered from systematic military terror. Many died of deliberately enforced starvation, lack of medicines and even of executions, ignoring the laws of war.
The Japanese military disregarded Human Rights on a large scale.

In accordance with UN conventions the crimes of the Japanese military qualify as war crimes, therefore are not limited by the 1951 San Francisco Peace treaty. The government of Japan continues to express the view that the war crimes issue has been resolved by the Peace Treaty.

Japan must acknowledge its responsibility for the war crimes of its military during the Pacific war. The Human Rights Council cannot ignore Japan’s past and present conduct ignoring UN conventions.

On behalf of all victims of Japanese military terror in South East Asia during the Pacific war we request the Human Rights Council to insist that the Japanese government acknowledges the past behaviour of the Japanese military without any reservations, and that Japan comes to lasting terms with UN approved NGO’s representing the victims.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your actions.

 

Petitie #262: Move forward but don’t forget the past.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 September 2016
Petition: 262
Subject: Move forward but don’t forget the past.

Excellency,
During the last 70 years Japan recovered successfully from the Pacific War, but failed to pay attention to the sufferings of the individual war victims. Nowadays Japan suffers from the prevailing global economic conditions in addition to the ill feelings of the war victims condemning this failure.
At the closing of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro you appeared as Super Mario. It was a great publicity stunt in promoting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and your country. By bringing the Olympic Solidarity home you have the opportunity to extend the Olympic Solidarity to the Pacific War victims and their dependents too. In preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games Japan must redress its military past. For you and your government a difficult task, but essential in improving Japan’s image and maintaining your export economy in the future.

Prime Minister,
During the same 70 years period Japan benefitted economically from the military and political protection by the United States of America and under the 1951 San Francisco Treaty. During this period Japan hardly considered its responsibility for the war victims it made during the Pacific War. The victims lost their lives or were molested by means of the unpunished and institutionalized war crimes by the Imperial Army. The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty did not terminate Japan’s responsibility for this. The Japanese legal point of view that the Peace Treaty indemnifies Japan defies the conventions of the United Nations. The individual victims and their dependents view Japan as a belligerent nation who remains liable for the war crimes of the Imperial Army during the Pacific War.

Prime Minister,
Do not forget the past while moving forward to a sustainable and honorable future. You as the prime leader of Japan, presenting yourself as Super Mario of the Tokyo Olympic Games, must take the initiative to include the Olympic Solidarity in considering the plight of the war victims of the past!

Prime Minister,
In our petitions we try to find a common ground in resolving our disagreement in dealing with the past. We consider it an insult that we do not receive your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions nor any initiative in bridging the gap of the disagreement. Please exercise your position and open a genuine dialogue.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

 

Petition #261: We Remember.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 9 August 2016
Petition: 261
Subject: We Remember.

Excellency,
In World War Two Japan wasted Japanese Blood and Treasure. The damage done to the victims of the occupied territories by Japan however were a multiple of that waste. Present Japanese politicians and the Japanese people they represent hardly know the facts and the damage done in their heredity. The damage is not only material. It continues to have an immaterial effect on the global perception of Japan’s moral responsibility. Next Monday the surviving Dutch from Dutch East Indies remember the Japanese occupation. They were an integrated part of the community which the Dutch built together with the local people. It was a prosperous country recovering from the Great Depressing. The Japanese occupation destroyed the recovery and destroyed the future of the Dutch kept in concentration camps or ostracized outside camps on discriminatory grounds. On the 15th of August we do not celebrate Japan’s capitulation but we remember our lost ones and the pain we had to endure under the terror of the Japanese military. Japan’s surrender was for us not liberation but a continuation of terror with the ultimate result that we had to take refuge and lost everything.

Prime Minister,
In my previous petition I mentioned that the Japanese government is ignoring the elderly, often victims of war, and the young people who want to survive in the changing world. You announced a new economic stimulus package to kick start Japan’s future economy. In this package you must look after them and include an educational plan which objectively addresses Japan’s recent military history during World War Two. It must include Japan’s acknowledgement of its moral duty to war victims both at home and in the occupied territories too. As mentioned previously: “The dissatisfaction with political responses to economic and social problems seems to be spreading.” This dissatisfaction requires action from present politicians to rectify their failure to recognize the urgent needs of their voters and to acknowledge that past views are nowadays unacceptable as they continue to haunt Japan’s reliability in the world.

Prime Minister,
In my previous petition I suggested: “Be honest and act with dignity and genuine honor towards all war victims.” I hope for the Japanese people and the world that in your new economic stimulus package you take the suggestion at heart.

We are still looking forward to your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #260: The Wages of Guilt.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 July 2016
Petition: 260
Subject: The Wages of Guilt

Excellency,
The dissatisfaction with political responses to problems seems to be spreading. Ian Buruma in his book “The Wages of Guilt” compares the political response of the Germans and Japanese to their war past. The difference in approach in acknowledging and in paying respect to the victims is striking. Germany accepted and continues to accept full responsibility. Japan ignores the war crimes, glorifies its military and refuses to accept that, in the occupation of foreign territories, the behavior of the Japanese Imperial Army was the Far East equivalent to the German Holocaust. The documents of proof are kept by independent institutions and indicate that millions of young people were sent deliberately into the Pacific war. Many of them lost their lives or were mutilated, often not able to live a normal life. Politicians and civil servants ignored their plight. An honest confrontation of Japan’s military past did not take place. Mr. Buruma published his book in 1991. Now in 2016, 25 years later, Japan is still ignoring its past and is confronted with: ”The Wages of Guilt.”

Prime Minister,
Why do I refer to Mr. Buruma’s book at this time? Its message is highlighted in the clear signals sent by the unexpected outcome of the United Kingdom referendum to leave the EU. The elderly and the unemployed Britons voted to leave the EU, because the politicians kept promising them support, but failed to deliver any kind of dignified support. Their fear was that they would continuously be ignored by politicians. This compares to the Japanese military victims of war in the occupied territories, who are ignored as a matter of policy by Japan. The British voters had the opportunity to demonstrate that the elderly and unemployed matter in politics. The UK government is now confronted with the consequences. Similarly the Japanese government is ignoring the elderly, often victims of war, and the young people who want to survive in the changing world.

Prime Minister,
You may be wondering why the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts continuous to require Japan to acknowledge its military past and pay respect to its victims. The answer is simple:

be honest and act with dignity and genuine honor towards all war victims.

We are still looking forward to your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #259: “Innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.”

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 June 2016
Petition: 259
Subject: “Innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time”

Excellency,
The above mentioned quote from President Barack Obama’s speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Friday 27 May 2016 is a clear acknowledgement how World War II ended. A war started by Japan and lost badly due to the stubbornness of the Imperial Army. The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Emperor to overcome that stubbornness by surrendering on 15 August 1945. President Obama made it clear that: “We have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.” In finalizing his speech he made it abundantly clear and in fact commanded: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the start of our moral awakening”.

Prime Minister,
The command by President Obama to press for a moral awakening is remarkable. A few days later it would appear that the German parliament took that message in acknowledging the Armenian genocide committed by the Turkish army 100 years ago. The German parliament ignored strong protests by Turkey and in particular it’s President.
The people of the territories occupied by Japan during World War II are still holding Japan accountable for war crimes and the atrocities by the Imperial Army. They, including the Dutch from Dutch East Indies, keep talking about Japan’s behavior during World War II, the atrocities, the war crimes and the lack of shame for what was done to their people in the name of the Emperor. They warn not to glorify the perpetrators of that war, but also point to the present government of Japan in not coming forward with a sustainable atonement.

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts welcomes President Obama’s call for a moral awakening. You and your government should adhere to this call.
We are ready to seek a solution.
Japan can ill afford to wait 100 years!

We are still looking forward to your acknowledgement of receipt of our petitions. That is long overdue.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #258: Why the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is holding Japan accountable.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 10 May 2016
Petition: 258

Subject: Why the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is holding Japan accountable.
Excellency,
In presenting petition 257 to Japan’s new Ambassador to The Netherlands his Excellency Hiroshi INOMATA, it was clear that he was briefed on the legal position of Japan regarding the Dutch from Dutch East Indies, but also on the need to maintain our dialogue. It was clear also, that the meaning of “HONORARY” had to be explained. The Foundation on behalf of its members holds Japan accountable for the war crimes, terror and misconduct by the Imperial Armed Forces whilst occupying Dutch East Indies during the Pacific war from 1941 – 1945. The systematic and institutionalized atrocities committed during that period on Dutch military and civilian families inside prisons and concentration camps and outside those camps are a disgrace and continues to dishonor Japan today. On many occasions the Imperial Armed Forces, in particular the Kempeitai, sited in their conduct: “by order of His Imperial Highness the Emperor of Japan”. It would be an honor for you to acknowledge the atrocities and misconduct by the Imperial Armed Forces on behalf of your country as a gesture of respect and morality to the victims and their descendants.

Prime Minister,
During the forthcoming G-7 Ise-Shima Summit leaders of the United States of America, Britain, Canada and France will be present, all signatories to the 1951 San Francisco peace treaty. As host of the summit and in particular in view of the forthcoming visit by President Barack H. OBAMA, as President of the United States of America, to Hiroshima, you have the opportunity to acknowledge the atrocities and misconduct by the Imperial Armed Forces during the Pacific War in South East Asia and in particular Dutch East Indies.
This would be an ideal moment for Japan to acknowledge its past war crimes during the Pacific War and take a step towards a settlement with the victims.

We are looking forward to your acknowledgement and an acknowledgement of the receipt of this petition.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petitie #257: Japan’s new vision on tourism in relation to its military past.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 April 2016
Petition: 257
Subject: Japan’s new vision on tourism in relation to its military past.

Excellency,
Recently you announced your plans to attract more tourists to Japan. The economic impact of tourism can be substantial and might improve Japan’s overall economic conditions. However Japan will not be able to achieve this as long as it does not recognize its negative image in the world. Your country is still viewed with suspicion both in Asia and the rest of the world. In your new vision on tourism to Japan it is essential that Japan recognizes its sordid past. Actions are needed whereby Japan comes forward with suggestions to acknowledge its brutal wartime past and pay compensations to repair the damage done.

Prime Minister,
28th December 2015 you made a “Deal” between Japan and the Republic of South Korea. In that deal Japan demonstrated that it is morally obliged to acknowledge and to repair the damage done by its military during World War Two. On the basis of your new vision in promoting tourism to Japan the 50,000 surviving Dutch from Dutch Indies would welcome suggestions how to participate in a visit to Japan and collect what is due to them in respect of acknowledgement and redress. The present Peace Exchange program is insufficient and reaches only a very few of the survivors. However due to ill health caused by the sufferings in the concentration camps and outside those camps many cannot participate in a visit to Japan. We suggest to resolve this inconvenience by making an alternative arrangement: a “Deal” with the “Dutch” recognizing Japan’s obligations in a similar way to that with the Republic of Korea.

Prime Minister,
Japan has many attractions for tourists from Europe, but Japan’s wartime history is not forgotten. Relatives, friends and other acquaintances of the surviving Dutch question Japan’s attitude and ignorance of its past. They rather visit Germany with its transparent and genuine acknowledgement and reparation for the damage done by the German Military and politicians during World War Two. Come forward with a deal acknowledging responsibility and repair the damage.

We are looking forward to your acknowledgement of this 257th petition. Prime Ministers of Japan so far failed to do so; a further insult to the Dutch victims of Japanese military terror.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petitie #256: Past, today´s and future Human Rights principles of the United Nations and international laws.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 March 2016
Petition: 256
Subject: Past, today´s and future Human Rights principles of the United Nations and international laws.

Excellency,
On 29th February we bid farewell to His Excellency Masuru Tsuji till then the Ambassador of Japan to The Netherlands. We had long and detailed discussions with him about the heavy burden of moral responsibility Japan has to the Dutch victims. After 70 years the Dutch survivors require acknowledgement and respect from Japan which the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty did not give to the victims of the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies. We hope that the new succeeding ambassador takes time to understand the issues involved and that Japan’s responsibility will be resolved during his tenure.

Prime Minister,
In the previous petition 255 we raised the “Deal” between Japan and the Republic of South Korea of 28th December 2015. We have not been able to find a formal document covering the “Deal” to be approved by both parliaments, which is usual when two states enter into an agreement. It is confusing and strange that Ms. Inada, in charge of LDP Policy, declared on February 25th that the removal of the Comfort Woman statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul is precondition to the payment of 1 billion yen. In addition she made clear that: “there will be no change in the Japanese stance that the Comfort Women issue is legally settled and that the facts were falsified”. We are mystified by these statements. Japan maintains that there is no proof that the girls and women were recruited by the Japanese military. Despite that, Japan feels morally obliged to do a “Deal” with the government of the Republic of Korea!

Prime Minister,
Many times we pointed out the well documented recruitment, maltreatment and abuse of Dutch girls and women forced against their will into prostitution by the Japanese military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies. The Japanese authorities have only to ask the Dutch government to send the formal judgement papers by the Temporary Court Marshal of Batavia on the Semarang legal case of coercion into prostitution of Dutch girls and young women from concentration camps by Japanese military. This case and others provide ample legal proof that Japan violated the The Hague convention of 1907 and is thus liable to apologize and pay reparation to the individual victims. The Human Rights principles of the United Nations and the international laws have to be upheld by Japan.

We are looking forward to your acknowledgement.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petitie #255: Acknowledgement and reparation.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 9 February 2016
Petition: 255
Subject: Acknowledgement and reparation

Excellency,
It is a joy to see and hear the reaction from the former Dutch civil servants and Dutch military, who served on behalf of the Dutch East Indies government during the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies. The present Dutch Government acknowledged their sufferings and unjust treatment after the war ended. The formal apology and reinstatement of respect in addition to a substantial lump sum payment does wonders to these individuals. How sad is it that the so called deal between your Government and the Government of the Republic of Korea regarding Comfort Women does not enjoy the same enthusiasm by the surviving victims as these were not included in the discussions and do not accept the arrangements.

Prime Minister,
In the written answer to questions by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) the Japanese Government claimed that there was no evidence to prove that sex slavery was coerced. Forgetting that during World War II the system of comfort women was widespread in the by the Japanese military occupied territories. Based on overwhelming evidence the Dutch Military Batavia Tribunal concluded in 1947 without any doubt that Japanese officers and civilians recruited from concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies Dutch women and girls and forced them into prostitution for the pleasure of Japanese military and civilians. The evidence of coercion was then and is now still very clear and well documented. The accused were severely punished including the death penalty!

Prime Minister,
Regardless the San Francisco Peace Treaty the global opinion is that Japan committed war crimes and ultimately will have to admit these. The present “deal” between your government and the government of the Republic of Korea will not change that. The state of Japan has to acknowledge the facts that during the occupation of territories during World War II its military violated the The Hague convention of 1907 and is thus liable to apologize and pay reparation to the individual victims. The Human Rights principles of the United Nations and the international laws will be upheld!

We are looking forward to Japan’s acknowledgement and reparation.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petitie #254: 2016 a New Year with acknowledgement and compensation?

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 12 January 2016
Petition: 254
Subject: 2016 a New Year with acknowledgement and compensation?

Excellency,
Members and supporters at home and abroad of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wish you and the people of Japan a happy and fruitful New Year. A year in which the people of Japan will be asked to acknowledge Japan’s moral responsibility of its wartime history during World War II.

Prime Minister,
It appears that you personally acknowledge moral responsibility for Japan’s military atrocities during the war. The recent political agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea announced during the last week of 2015, admitting responsibility and providing compensation to the 46 “comfort women” still alive, is hopeful and promising. Your most sincere apologies and remorse to all “Comfort Women” are political statements which have to be approved by the Cabinet and the Diet. As Prime Minister it is easy to write a letter and make funds available to the surviving victims, but the question is: Does it carry political support from all political parties? In particular as your intentions are spoiled by Japan’s reported demand that the statue of a “Young Comfort Woman” is to be removed as condition of the funding of the compensation. For the authenticity of your personal apology and the payment of 1 billion yen to the surviving former military sex slaves of Korea no strings, which are not acceptable to the surviving victims, can be attached.

Prime Minister,
Apparently Japan has the funds to compensate its war time victims. Money alone does not compensate the immeasurable and painful experiences and incurable physical and psychological wounds. Nor can it be limited to Korean Comfort Women only. Other victims of the Japanese military during World War II demand from Japan acknowledgement and compensation. For the Dutch from Dutch East Indies the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts can, with your government, establish a Foundation for the purpose of providing moral and financial support to the surviving victims of Japanese military atrocities and destruction. Japanese war time companies could contribute to the Foundation too, thus settling Japan’s Honorary Debts.

We are looking forward to a personal and early reply from you.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President