Petities

Petition # 297: Rehabilitation of Justice

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Petition # 297: Rehabilitation of Justice

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan  

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

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

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

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

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

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

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

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

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                  

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

Excellency, 
We believe that you met the Minister President of the Netherlands, his Excellency Mr. Mark Rutte, in the sidelines of the G 20 Osaka Summit. We expect that you, among other topics, reviewed with him our request to consider Japan´s moral obligations stemming from the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies during World War II. We did not expect any communiqué but look forward to your suggestions to settle Japan´s Honorary Debts. Next year, 75 years after the end of World War II, all countries congregate in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. In the spirits of the Olympics the Japanese government must persue all efforts to find an agreement to solve the Honorary Debts to the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies.

Prime Minister,
Recently the Dutch Railway Company (NS)announced to settle its honorary debt in transporting more than 100.000 Jews, Roma and Sinti to the Nazi concentration camps. According to the president of NS transporting Jews, Roma and Sinti and others, ordered by the German military, during World War II is “a black page in the history of NS”.  NS apologized in 2005 and will now, on the suggestion by a special independent commission, pay reparations as a moral gesture to survivors or, if they are no longer alive, to their next of kin. NS was paid by the German authorities for transporting the victims! 

Prime Minister,
During the occupation of the Netherlands East Indies by the Japanese military Dutch citizens and POW’s were transported to Japanese concentration camps established in Japanese occupied territories as well as in Japan. They were transported by train and ship under insufferable circumstances. The Japanese military ( Navy and Army) ordered Japanese shipping companies to transport Dutch POW’s and citizens. Many died during the transport or as a consequence of the inhumane conditions on board of the so-called Hell Ships. The shipping companies were paid by the Japanese government! As an act of moral chivalry, it must be an honour for the Japanese shipping companies or their present successors to apologize and pay reparations to the survivors or, if they are no longer alive, their next of kin. Like NS will do to the holocaust victims.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 295: Formal acknowledgement of receipt!

Petition # 295: Formal acknowledgement of receipt!

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                

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

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

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

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

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

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

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

Petition 294 #: Reconcile in the Reiwa era.

Petition 294 #: Reconcile in the Reiwa era.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                

The Hague, 14 May 2019
Petition: 294
Subject: Reconcile in the Reiwa era.

Excellency, 
Please convey our best wishes and greetings to the new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. As a symbol of the State we hope that they will be ambassadors healing old wounds, in particular with the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies. The Emperor does not have executive powers, but as symbol of the State and the unity of the people, deriving his constitutional position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power, he has moral authority. In reconciling the past with a view to the future of Japan’s international relations the Emperor may contribute in our discussion.

Prime Minister,
In my previous petition I mentioned that during Reiwa it is expected that the Japanese government will have the will and courage to rectify the moral obligations stemming from the Showa era, during which the San Francisco Treaty was agreed and the state of war was terminated. During that era the present Japanese Constitution was established and never changed.

Prime Minister,
As the Prime Government Executive your goal among other matters is to clarify the constitutional status of the Self-Defense Forces. According to article 9 of the Constitution Japan is prohibited from possessing military forces and other war potential materials. It questions the legal position of the Self-Defense Forces. In the rapidly changing political global circumstances consistency is required. However the truth why the prohibition was included in the Constitution must be clear to all people both in Japan and abroad. The truth about the conduct by the Imperial Army during World War II must be told and the institutionalized silence on this matter must be lifted. The present Japanese government must accept responsibility for the past in order to restore faith in the Japanese  institutions including the Self-Defense Forces and its political will to reconcile with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

Prime Minister,
In Germany denying Holocaust is a crime and liable to punishment. 
In the Imperial Reiwa era Japan must come to terms with the war crimes of the Imperial Army during World War II. From a historical point of view the year 2020, 75 years after Japan’s capitulation, would be the right moment to do so. 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition 293 #: Japan’s new Imperial era Reiwa, a new commitment recognizing the past?

Petition # 293: Japan’s new Imperial era Reiwa, a new commitment recognizing the past?

The Hague, 9 April 2019
Petition: 293
Subject: Japan´s new Imperial era Reiwa, a new commitment recognizing the past?

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

Excellency, 
You announced that Japan will be entering into a new era on May 1st following the abdication of Emperor Akihito who is to be succeeded by his son Crown Prince Naruhito. As the new Emperor he will be confronted with an ever rapidly and changing world. During Reiwa it is expected that the Japanese government will have the will and courage to rectify the moral obligations stemming from the Showa era, during which the San Francisco Treaty was agreed and the state of war was terminated. 

Prime Minister,
The present Japanese and Dutch generations did not suffer from the setbacks of war the older generations are still experiencing. The Japanese governments have institutionally refused to recognize the individual sufferings by the war victims both at home as well as in the occupied territories, ignoring the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty. The Peace Treaty stipulated: 
quote Recognizing that Japan should pay reparations for the damage and suffering caused during the war. Nevertheless it is also recognized that the resources of Japan are notpresently sufficient, if it is to maintain a viable economy, to make complete reparation for all such damage and suffering and at the same time meet other obligations, unquote. 
From 1952 Japan has been, economically successful, and had the means, if it had the will, to pay reparations to individual victims for the damage and suffering caused during the war. The Yoshida-Stikker protocol of 1956 was a shameful solatium restricted and limited to ex civil internees. It did not pay for the damage and suffering of the Dutch from the Dutch East Indies. 

Prime Minister,
In the new era an honorable attempt must be made to rectify and to fulfill the clear inattention of Japan’s recognition to pay reparations. In 2020 it will be 75 years ago that the war was ended. The appropriate moment to reconfirm Japan’s commitment to global peace and to comply with the intentions and the purpose of the San Francisco Peace treaty. 
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, representing the Dutch victims of the Japanese military occupation of the Dutch East Indies, request an early reply to comply.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition 292 #: Respect for human rights.

Petition 293 #: Respect for human rights.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                              

The Hague, 12 March 2019
Petition: 292
Subject: Respect for human rights.

Excellency,
At the opening of the 40thsession of the Human Rights Council the Secretary General of the United Nations his Excellency António Guterres put it to his audience:

“Respect for human rights is just a game of words if there is no respect for people”

Over the years the government of Japan did not pay much respect to the people victimized by the brutal and unlawful behaviour of the Imperial Army during World War II.

Prime Minister,
In many of our petitions we pointed out that the conduct of the Imperial Army during the occupation of Dutch East Indies was, in accordance with international law, and remains unlawful and in violation of human rights. We are not alone in this opinion. Many distinguished international lawyers and politicians support our view. For political reasons Japan keeps on refusing to acknowledge its responsibility for the misconduct of the Imperial Army and continuously ignores the moral consequences. The Dutch victims were not heard in the politically enforced Yoshida-Stikker protocol!  

Prime Minister,
Human rights is about respect for people as the Secretary General of the United Nations so clearly and directly put it. Show the courage and the political will to pay respect to the Dutch victims of the Imperial Army’s misconduct during World War II and face the responsibility. 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts. 

 J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 291: And now forward.

Petition # 291: And now forward.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 February  2019
Petition: 291
Subject: And now forward.      

Excellency,
We had hoped to meet you during your recent visit to the Netherlands. Unfortunately your short stay in the Netherlands dealt with strengthening the Dutch-Japanese commercial relationship in accordance with the EU-Japan Trade Agreement. It did not cover Japan’s war time past. However, according to the summary issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan of the Japan-Netherlands Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Rutte, you made clear you consider the Netherlands as a strategic partner in sharing universal values. One of those values is to acknowledge Japan’s war time past in occupied Dutch East Indies during World War II.

Prime Minister,
In our previous petition we quoted from your New Year’s speech that ”you are overcome by a sobering sense in reassessing Japan’s post war diplomacy”. The powers in the world are concentrating on the future of our children and grandchildren. How can you explain to them that Japan denies responsibility for Japan’s Imperial Army’s conduct and why Japan needs to reassess its post war diplomacy? Are you afraid of the undeniable truth or is it that Japan in the future world will lose out commercially? As mentioned in our previous petition “The ageing communities both in Japan as well as in the Netherlands  have not forgotten their sufferings and lack of respect and decency by respective Japanese governments including yours”. Time is of the essence and now more than ever a political discussion with you as Prime Minister of Japan is necessary.

Prime Minister,
The opportunity was not seized to have an open discussion during your visit.  We regret that, as we believe that a personal contact is always better then communicating by petition.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts. 

 J.F. van Wagtendonk

President

Petition # 290; A year of change!

Petition # 290; A year of change!

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 January  2019
Petition: 290
Subject: A year of change!

Excellency,
The board and members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wish you as Prime Minister of Japan, your Cabinet and the people of Japan a safe and prosperous New Year. An important year for Japan as the Emperor will abdicate to be succeeded by his son. Although the Emperor has no political role, his importance as the cultural and emotional symbol for Japan is well known.
The Emperor and Empress made a state visit to The Netherlands in the year 2000. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts objected to this visit and got into trouble with the Dutch authorities. The Emperor expressed his sadness during the state diner but did not apologize for the illegal occupation of the Dutch East Indies during World War II. However we believe that he felt our anger with his Majesty Emperor Showa’s conduct during the war and also with the reluctance of the Japanese government to acknowledge its responsibility to the individual Dutch victims. We hope that the Emperor will express his feelings to his successor!

Prime Minister,
In your 2019 New Year’s speech you make reference to the coming to an end of the Heisa era. During this period Japan suffered from deflation and a decreasing population. The rapid technical developments in commerce and industry influenced the social structure of Japan; ignoring Japan’s military past during World War II. Japan’s post war diplomacy, denying responsibility for the Showa era, nowadays requires a different resolve. The elder Japanese people, like the surviving Dutch from the Dutch East Indies, have not forgotten their sufferings and lack of respect and decency by respective Japanese governments including yours.
The numbers of victims are decreasing rapidly. It is too cynical to assume that your government deliberately waits until all victims are dead thus resolving the acknowledgement. I personally hope that the fact, quote ”you are overcome by a sobering sense in reassessing Japan’s post war diplomacy” unquote will result in a genuine and appropriate resolve.

Prime Minister,
Please start with acknowledging the receipt of this petition.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition # 289; Slave Labourers

Petition #289; Slave Labourers

 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 December  2018
Petition: 289
Subject: Slave labourers.

Excellency,
It is a pity that your intention to visit The Netherlands after the G-20 meeting in Buenos Airos did not materialize. We had hoped  to discuss  with you personally the position of the individual Dutch war time victims from the Dutch East Indies.
In a personal discussion we would have made two points clear:

  1. For the long term historic relations between the people of Japan and the Netherlands it is essential that the feeling of distrust and lack of respect is removed,
  2. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts represents by statue the Dutch wartime victims who want to come to terms with the Japanese government (and the Japanese firms who benefitted during and after World War II) in resolving the ill feeling.

Prime Minister,
During the occupation of the Dutch East Indies by the Japanese military from 7 December 1941 till 15 August 1945 they grossly violated the 1907 The Hague convention and other internationally accepted conduct of war conventions. Contrary to those conventions Japanese companies employed prisoners of war as slave labourers. They were transported  by ships to Japan or other territories occupied by the Japanese military. Many of them died during those transports in the famously known “hell ships”. Those who arrived at the intended destinations hardly survived due to the wretchedly poor conditions both during their voyage and in the concentration camps. Many Japanese companies benefitted from the slave employment and expropriation of assets, including private bank deposits.  Their successors should find it an honour to acknowledge and compensate the victims.
In the Netherlands the National Railways transported many thousands of Jews to German concentration camps and were paid by the German occupying forces. The present Board of the Railways board is ashamed that they transported the Jews and got paid for it. They decided with all respect to compensate survivors and their next of kin.  The Japanese shipping companies and other Japanese employers of slave labour should have the same decency.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

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

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