Petities

Petition # 311: Personal acknowledgement receipt of this petition.

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Petition # 311: Personal acknowledgement receipt of this petition.

His Excellency Yoshihide Suga,
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 October 2020
Petition: 311
Subject: Personal acknowledgement receipt of this petition.

Excellency, 
On behalf of the Board and Members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts we respectfully congratulate you on the appointment as Prime Minister of Japan. As Cabinet Secretary for many years you got to know about the activities of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts and our monthly petition personally addressed to the Prime Minister but presented to the Japanese Ambassador in The Hague. Unfortunately, we never received from previous Prime Ministers an acknowledgment of receipt of the petitions. We hope that you will rectify this diplomatically unheard-of treatment of an acknowledged NGO with Roster status at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.

Prime Minister
In our last petition to your predecessor we suggested that he should reconsider Japans position after the Second World War ended. Japan lost the war she started and had to capitulate on 15th August 1945. The San Francisco Peace Treaty terminated the state of war. As you know the Prime Ministers of Japan never acknowledged Japans historic liability to the individual Dutch victims: the Japanese Honorary Debts! The personal tragedies of the Dutch caused by the Japanese military is a black page in the history books of Japan and the Netherlands.

Prime Minister,
As Cabinet Secretary you were fully aware of our desire to come to terms. We never received a personal reply from previous Prime Ministers. An insult to injury considering the appalling behavior by the Imperial Army and Navy during the Second World War in Asia including the Dutch East Indies.  As the new Prime Minister of Japan faced with many problems as result of the Covid-19 pandemic it would suit you to personally acknowledge the receipt of this petition. At a later stage we should jointly agree to make suggestions how to come to terms with the Japanese Honorary Debts.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 310: Last chance to acknowledge!

Petition # 310: Last chance to acknowledge!

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 September 2020 
Petition: 310
Subject:  Last chance to acknowledge! 

Excellency, 
It must be a personal big disappointment for you and your family that you, due to ill health, had to announce to step down as Prime Minster of Japan. Since your first tenure and later your second tenure as Prime Minister we have been writing you. Every month during those periods we pointed out to you that that Japan should reconsider its Second World War past. Japan lost the war she started and had to capitulate on 15th August 1945. The San Francisco Peace Treaty terminated the state of war. In the treaty Japan recognized that it should pay reparations for the damage and suffering caused by it during the war. Nevertheless, it was recognized that the resources of Japan were not presently sufficient to make a complete reparation for all such damage and suffering. Since the San Francisco Peace Treaty became effective Japan became a world power with sufficient resources to pay reparations for the damage and suffering to the individual victims of Japan’s war. We call Japans historic liability to the individual Dutch victims: the Japanese Honorary Debts! The personal tragedies of the Dutch caused by the Japanese military will remain a black page in the history books of Japan and the Netherlands.

Prime Minster,
In our petitions to you as Prime Minister we suggested that it should be an honor for Japan to settle the liability to the Dutch victims who lost but all during the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies.  The US $10 million consideration under the Yoshida-Stikker protocol was an insult as it did not consider the true damage. The Dutch individual victims were not consulted. 

Prime Minister,
Our petitions suggest coming to terms. We never received a personal reply from you as Prime Minster. The Japanese Ambassadors in The Hague stated that all was settled with the San Francisco Peace Treaty. A dishonest approach to redeem the Japanese Honorary Debts to the surviving victims. We expect that you, in your last days in office, will reconcile in acknowledging the receipt of all our petitions during your tenures as Prime Minister of Japan. But too that you suggest to your successor to deal with our request honorably and diligently. 

Prime Minister,
Nevertheless, we wish you personally all the best and for as far as possible a comfortable recovery.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 309: Still no change in not telling the true history and not the glorified lies.

Petition # 309: Still no change in not telling the true history and not the glorified lies.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 August 2020
Petition: 309
Subject:  Still no change in not telling the true history and not the glorified lies.

Excellency,
On 9th September 2003 I wrote to the then Prime Minister of Japan his Excellency Junichiro KOIZUMI:
Quote: “Excellency,
In August we remember and celebrate the end of World War II. During the various ceremonies, the remembrances bring back our sufferings and the cruelty committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during the War in the Dutch East Indies and other places in Asia. We celebrate the ending of World War II which gave us back our freedom; albeit in a disunited country where almost all the surviving Dutch in the Dutch East Indies were forced to repatriate to The Netherlands. The remembrance evokes anger, that the Japanese government does not recognize the social and moral responsibility it has towards those who suffered at the hands of Japanese soldiers and civil servants. Let me repeat the anger:
It is beyond comprehension that the Japanese government is on the one hand proud to celebrate more then 400 years of friendship with the Dutch, but neglects its Honorary Debts to Dutch nationals originating out of World War II, hiding its responsibility on legal grounds.
True friends recognize their failures and do the utmost to repair the damage done, if they believe in the sincerity of friendship. It requires a meaningful gesture both in apology and material reparation to establish the friendship. In understanding the present, you must tell the true history and not the glorified lies. In remembering the actual facts the pain and the disbelief come back, but this horror must be faced as the world must know the truth of how the Imperial Army and the Japanese civil servants treated their friends for 400 years during World War II. The world must know that the present government of Japan appears not to learn from the past.” Unquote.

Prime Minister,
Ever since I wrote to His Excellency Junichiro KOIZUMI his successors, including you, ignored our petitions. I deeply regret such dishonorable attitude. The Japanese Ambassadors in the Hague had to refer to the San Francisco Peace treaty:” legally Japan is in the clear and has no obligations to an Honorary Debt”. However, it should be an honor for Japan to redeem the morally correct Honorary Debts together with a personal apology to the surviving victims.

Prime Minister,
Today I will be looking forward to your personal condolence.

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

President.

Petition # 308: 75 years ago, World War Two ended on 15th August 1945.

Petition # 308: 75 years ago, World War Two ended on 15th August 1945.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                               

The Hague, 14 July 2020
Petition: 308
Subject:  75 years ago, World War Two ended on 15th August 1945.

Excellency,
Next 15th August we will remember that 75 years ago World War Two ended. A remembrance with grief and pain for the members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts and other survivors of the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies. But also, for reflection and hope that the government and the people of Japan one day will accept moral responsibility for that occupation. The denial and lack of empathy continues to anger! It is shameful that the people of Japan and its present government neglect the traditional Japanese culture of honour and subsequent obligations. After more than 300 petitions we did not receive a personal reaction from the Prime Minister of Japan. This lack of innate refinement is unworthy of Japan and its people.

Prime Minster,
This year’s remembrance ceremonies will be restricted to very few attendants due to the Corona pandemic.  His Majesty King Willem Alexander will be present at the ceremony and deliver most likely a historic speech. The sober ceremony will be widely followed on television and radio. Hopefully, his speech will console the many victims and their dependents unable to attend.

Prime Minister,
On Tuesday 11th August 2020, the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts will reconvene their traditional second Tuesday of the month demonstration. Since March, due the Corona pandemic, we had to cancel the demonstrations but were able to present our petitions, addressed to you as Prime Minister, to the Japanese Ambassador in The Hague. On that Tuesday, 11th August 3 days before our remembrance, it would be opportune to receive from you personally, through the Japan’s Ambassador in The Hague, a personal  condolence and respect for the remaining survivors and the next of kin of the victims who died.

Prime Minister,
I will be looking forward to your personal condolence.

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

President.

Petition # 307: Why do we continue our dialogue?

Petition # 307: Why do we continue our dialogue?

His Excellency Shinzo ABE  
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 9 June 2020
Petition: 307
Subject:  Why do we continue our dialogue?

Excellency,

Prime Minister,
The lockdown during the Corona Pandemic gave us time to reflect and consider why we have a dialogue. The lockdown is being released slowly and we intend to continue the dialogue with your Ambassador in The Hague as soon as it is permitted to meet him personally.  Our important petitions 305 “Past Corona Epidemic” and 306 “The war is still with us” will be discussed then. But also, in the context of our dialogue, how the Corona Pandemic has influenced the future relationships in considering the past.

Prime Minister,
The historic facts are that the individual Dutch from Dutch East Indies, occupied by the Japanese Military during 1942-1945, have been victims of wrongful acts by members of the Japanese armed forces. Japan was at the time of the Second World War a party to The Hague Convention (IV) of 1907 and it had to respect the Laws and Customs of War with the annexed Regulations, including Article 3. Japan ratified the Convention (IV) on 13 December 1917 and is thus bound by Article 3 ever since. The 1907 Hague Convention (IV) is a provision of conventional Humanitarian International Law. It must be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to provide for direct payment to individual persons, victims of acts in violation of the Regulation of Article 3.

Prime Minister,
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts was established on April 4, 1990 in The Hague with the aim of defending the interests of ex-POWs, civilians and their surviving family members, who were detained or interned by acts of the occupying Japanese government and their military during the Second World War. Seeking to make clear that such acts constituted violations of International Humanitarian Law, contrary to the 1907 Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Custom of War on Land and the 1929 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War and forcing the Japanese government to admit to the violations and pay monetary compensation to individual victims.

Prime Minister,
The 1951 Yoshida-Stikker protocol waived the individual rights of ex-POWs and civilian detainees to claim compensation. The San Francisco Peace Treaty diplomatically resolved, at the expense of the individual victims, Japan’s obligation under the Hague Convention (IV). The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts tried to resolve this shameful politically enforced result by lobbying extensively to secure a legislative solution through the enactment of law that would provide compensation to victims. The Japanese government, in 1993 already established as economic world power, was financially able to compensate the individual victims, but did not wish to resolve the issue of compensation honorably. The Foundation had no alternative than to resort to litigation. In the litigation members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts tried to establish that the Japanese military had subjected the Dutch ex-POWs and civilian detainees (inside and outside the concentration camps) to cruel and inhumane treatment in violation of International Humanitarian Law. But also, to obtain a sincere public apology by the Japanese government and the recognition that the Dutch individual victims have the right to claim compensation for the cruel and inhuman treatment by the Japanese military in violating International Humanitarian Law.

Prime Minister,
In continuing our dialogue we wish to emphasize that despite more than 300 petitions we still believe that 75 years after the end of World War Two Japan and the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts should be able to resolve the issue of maltreatment by the Japanese military during World War Two in an honorable and respectful way by taking into account the historic facts and the Japanese desire to respect law and order including the The Hague Convention(VI). The Corona Pandemic has changed much. Under the changed circumstances it must be possible, as with the Asian Women’s Fund, to contend that the waived claims should be compensated.

As ever we are
looking forward to the discussion with the Japanese Ambassador in The Hague and
to an early formal reply by you as Prime Minister of Japan commemorating the
end of World War Two 75 years ago.

On behalf of the
Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 306: The war is still with us.

Petition # 306: The war is still with us. 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                            

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

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

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

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

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 305: Past Corona Epidemic.

Petition # 305: Past Corona Epidemic.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan

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

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

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

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

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 304: Apology

Petition # 304: Apology

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

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

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

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

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

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

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

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

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan

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

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

The answer is dark and confronts.

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

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

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

We look forward hearing from you personally.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

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

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

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                          

The Hague, 14 January 2020
Petition: 302
Subject:  May the day of freedom dawn, peace and justice be reborne.

Excellency, 
The board and members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wish you, your Cabinet and the people of Japan a safe and prosperous  New Year. An important year during which the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will attract much global interest.  Also the year in which the world commemorates the end of World War II,  75 years ago. Since then Japan and the world paid much attention to peace and  stability. Unfortunately it appears that the effects of that war are still not resolved satisfactorily for the individuals who endured the war. They still suffer from the memories and the pain both physically as well as emotionally. In this Olympic year Japan has the opportunity and should have the will to resolve  the unfinished acknowledgement and indemnity due to the Dutch individuals who suffered so badly from Japans military occupation  of  the Netherlands East Indies. It is a great opportunity for Japan to show the world that it brings in practice the Olympic values of respect and social responsibility for their war time past. 

Prime Minister
Each second Tuesday of the month  members of the Foundation demonstrate in front of the Japanese embassy in the Hague. The board of the Foundation presents to the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands this and previous petitions addressed to you as the Prime Minister of Japan. 
During the demonstration we sing the Captives’ Hymn. A song  which gave our parents and us children hope and  belief  that one day the occupation would be over. The first lines of each verse read  as follows:

-Father, in captivity ,  we would lift our prayer to Thee.
-Give us patience to endure , keep our hearts serene and pure.
-For our country we would pray,   in this hour be Thou her stay.
-For our loved one we would pray,   be their guardian night and day.
-May the day of freedom dawn,   peace and justice be reborne.

Prime Minister
This hymn written and sung more than 75 years ago expresses hope and belief in a peaceful future. A future in which Japan will fulfill its prospects as you mentioned in your New Year’s Reflection.
Let 2020 also be a year that Japan recognizes that its future lies in understanding the consequences of its military history. It must be an honor for Japan, 75 years after the war, that during the Tokyo Olympics Japan considers  this opportunity and comes to terms with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.