Petities

Petition # 281 : Storytellers II

i apr 10th No Comments by

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

Petition #278: Government-to-government agreements resolving individual sufferings

Petition #278: government-to-government agreements resolving individual sufferings

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 9 January 2018
Petition: 278
Subject: government-to-government agreements resolving individual sufferings

Excellency,
As customary the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wishes you and the people of Japan a safe and fruitful New Year. A year in which the geopolitical circumstances influence Japan’s immediate security as well as its political and moral standing in the world in resolving its wartime obligations to individual victims.

Prime Minister,
In May 2017 the United Nations Committee against Torture called on Japan and South Korea to revise their 2015 deal to settle the long-standing row over women who were forced into wartime Japanese brothels. The Committee stated that the agreement should be modified to “ensure that the surviving victims of sexual slavery during World War II are provided with redress, including the right to compensation and rehabilitation and the right to truth, reparation and assurances of non-repetitions.”
The South Korean Foreign Ministry task force set up to investigate the December 2015 deal concluded last December that the governments involved did not listen to the victims before reaching the agreement. The task force said that “A victims-centered approach, which has become the norm when it comes to the human rights of women in time of war, has not been sufficiently reflected and the deal was reached through give-and-take negotiations like an ordinary diplomatic agenda.”
This conclusion of the task force reminds us of the Yoshida-Stikker agreement. The agreement between Japan and The Netherlands also lacked the involvement of the Dutch victims who suffered from the Japanese terror during World War II. The attempts to resolve the individual constitutional rights of the Dutch victims to claim from the Japanese government directly were squashed as the political view prevailed that Japan was unable to redress, including the right to compensation and rehabilitation. The victims suffered again from this diplomatic failure to consider the plight and sufferings caused by the Japanese military during World War II.

Prime Minister
As stated in our previous petition Japan must recognize and correct its past violations of Human Rights committed during World War II. The Comfort Women deal as well as the Yoshida-Stikker deal must be reviewed to include victims. Only then can Japan state that it has resolved its obligations to the victims of World War II.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

 

Petition #277: Human Rights

Petition #277: Human Rights,

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 December 2017
Petition: 277
Subject: Human Rights

Excellency,

In the United Nations Human Rights issues are discussed in the Human Rights Council. Every four years the Human Rights situation in a member nation is reviewed. Last month Japan was reviewed by the Universal Periodic Review Working Group. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts submitted its report requesting the Human Right Council:

  1. to review Japan’s Human Rights violations by its military against the Dutch during the military occupation of Dutch East Indies during 1941-1945;
  2. to establish that Japan, with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the 1956 Stikker-Yoshida Protocol, illegally absolved its responsibility to redress individual Dutch victims directly violating recognized principles of International Humanitarian Law, The Third Geneva Convention of 1949;
  3. to request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the legality of Japan absolving its responsibility to individual Dutch victims, thus violating the Third Geneva Convention.

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts urges that the Human Rights Council recommends the Government of Japan to resolve this long lasting issue in ignoring the Third Geneva Convention.
The submission by the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts has been entered formally in the Summary of stakeholders’ submissions on Japan. Time does not absolve responsibility.

Prime Minister,
For Japan recognizing and correcting present and past violations of Human Rights would give an important signal to the people of Japan and the world. It validates Japan’s and other nations request to have a meeting in the Security Council on the present Human Rights abuses by North Korea. Addressing the Human Rights violations of North Korea in the Security Council of the United Nations again underpins the importance of the Third Geneva Convention. It demonstrates also that Human Rights violations influence global politics materially and are a real threat to World Peace.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #276 : Dialogue for dialogue

Petition # 276: Dialoque for dialoque

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 14 November 2017
Petition: 276
Subject: Dialogue for dialogue

Excellency,
In our petition 225 of 13 August 2013 we congratulated you with your party’s victory. We suggested to work towards a genuine dialogue. 50 Petitions, 4 years later your party scored an overwhelming election victory. It gives your party’s coalition with the Komeito a two-thirds majority in both Diet Chambers and the opportunity to constitutional changes. Following your re-appointment as Prime Minister you told in a press conference that:
     “Dialogue for dialogue is meaningless.
      We have to maximize pressure to create a situation in which North Korea calls for a dialogue.
It is understandable that your focus is on the situation with North Korea. It is of paramount importance to Japan and to the world too.

Prime Minister,
As for now regarding a meaningful dialogue the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts calls on your decency for a meaningful dialogue on Japan’s moral obligations for Japan’s military conduct during the occupation of Dutch East Indies. Our present longstanding dialogue is one sided and dictated by a legal interpretation ignoring the moral consequences of Japan’s military conduct.
In your forthcoming speech to the Diet on 17 November you will most likely outline a fresh mandate, including amendments to the present Constitution. It is an opportune moment to demonstrate your genuine belief that those amendments will be critical in obtaining a long lasting peace in the region. It is the moment also to make known that you wish to resolve Japan’s past moral obligations.

Prime Minister,
You won the elections because the people of Japan do not want war. They have suffered too many wars initiated by Japan in the past. However they believe now that you are the best Prime Minister to avoid that. Nevertheless the electorate is worried and much depends on how you are able together with the United States of America, South Korea and China to come to terms with North Korea. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts supports efforts in this respect. At the same time we call on you for a meaningful dialogue between us settling the past.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #275: New elections

Petition #275: New elections

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 October 2017
Petition: 275
Subject: New elections

Excellency,
The forthcoming election on 22nd October is a surprise to us. In announcing the new election you stated that immediate action was required due to the threats from North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development and Japan’s shrinking and aging population. Japan’s moral obligations stemming from World War II were not mentioned but require immediate attention also. The electorate’s ill feelings of the performance of the present government of Japan are ignored. New elections do not resolve these ill feelings.

Prime Minister,
In recent parliamentary elections governments were seeking a greater mandate but lost badly. The government calling the election did not represent the electorate any longer.
The electorate wants change and fresh ideas. In particular as previous election intentions did not materialize and the new intentions by the sitting government are not trusted.
The North Korean issues have been shimmering for some time and are not a matter of Japan alone. It is a global issue, which resolve depends on the Chinese and American involvement. Neither will Japan’s moral obligations go away. The people of Japan are disillusioned and worried. They do not want new elections promises which could and should be dealt with under the present mandate. What the electorate wants from the present Japanese government is realism and responsibility.
The members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts are worried too. They would like to see the newly elected government as soon as possible to discuss a resolve to the moral obligations.

Prime Minister,
Please give the elderly citizens and children of Japan, The Netherlands and the world hope and do not forget Japan’s past during World War Two in the Pacific.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 274: North Korean provocations

Petition #274: North Korean provocations

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 September 2017
Petition: 274
Subject: North Korean provocations

 

Excellency,
Members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts are, with the people of Japan, very worried about the actions of the North Korean leadership. We hope that the U.N. Security Council as well as its permanent members will have the tenacity to impress on North Korea that their policies are not only a threat to world peace. They are counterproductive in achieving long term security and independence. The reality of the present situation is that Japan and South Korea rely on their alliance with the United States and her nuclear umbrella. As such North Korean provocations towards Japan and South Korea involve the United States directly. However it triggers also our memories of the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies.

Prime Minister,
We realize that you and your cabinet are fully engaged with the present situation. In the meantime Japan must not forget that it gained financially and economically from the U.S. imposed San Francisco Peace Treaty and Japanese Constitution after the war, which Japan started in the Pacific. On the basis of those gains Japan still has a moral duty to consider its attitude to the individual victims of that war. It is expedient now more than ever for Japan to acknowledge responsibility to the individual victims and gain international support for Japan’s present predicament.

Prime Minister,
We wish you wisdom, courage and good luck in dealing with the present situation.

 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

 

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #273: What next? Any will to reconcile?

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 August 2017
Petition: 273
Subject: What next? Any will to reconcile?

Excellency,
In our petition 250 “What next” we wrote that your statement on Friday, August 14th 2015 failed to convince us that Japan is preparing for its future by addressing its military and political past. You admitted on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II “that Japan lost sight of the overall trends in the world.” Japan’s post war population does not know how and why Japan went into war nor that during the war the Imperial forces terrorized POW’s and civilians and violated human rights on a grand scale in the occupied territories. Your promises that Japan “will engrave in our hearts” is insufficient and offensive considering the sufferings of the victims of terror and plunder which took place. Japan started the war and its military terrorized and violated the laws of war. However you are right in stating that “prosperity is the very foundation for peace”, to which one must add accepting responsibility for past wrongdoings. Hence the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts continuous demand that Japan recognizes its moral responsibility stemming from Japan’s “wrong course advancing along the road of war.” You must now admit that you and your government failed in recognizing the past and acknowledge its responsibilities of that past.

Prime Minister,
In our 250th petition to the Prime Minister of Japan the tone and contents as of all previous petitions have been to reconcile on the basis that the Dutch victims of Japanese militarism are respected and reasonably redressed. Our message continues to be that Japan must accept moral responsibility for its military and political past during World War II. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts as NGO has the will and the means to reconcile on behalf of the Dutch who suffered from Japan’s military occupation of Dutch East Indies during World War II. Now two years later you have not demonstrated any will nor genuine commitment to reconcile.
Demonstrate your will now by starting to acknowledge the receipt of this 273rd petition.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #272: Japan, following the EU-Japan Trade Agreement is Honour Bound to resolve its war obligations to the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 July 2017
Petition: 272
Subject: Japan, following the EU-Japan Trade Agreement is Honour Bound to resolve its war obligations to the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

Excellency,
One of your objectives as Prime Minister of Japan is to achieve a trade agreement between Japan and the European Union, including The Netherlands. The agreement is for both parties a significant political and commercial instrument to establish a long term relationship benefitting all the nations involved. It should also reestablish the emotional relationship between the Japanese people and the Dutch who suffered so badly from the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies during WO II.

In respect and in solidarity with in particular the elderly Dutch people from Dutch East Indies Japan has now to acknowledge its responsibilities for the Japanese military during World War II.
Japan and in particular you as Prime Minister are honour bound to take the initiative in coming to terms with the only Dutch NGO which since its establishment represents the interests of the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is ready to expand the present dialogue with Japan’s Ambassador in The Hague to set the basis for a suitable settlement, thus reestablishing mutual respect and solidarity between the Japanese people and the Dutch from Dutch East Indies.

Prime Minister,
We are awaiting your reply.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk
President
Cc Minister President of The Netherlands