Petities

Petition # 306: The war is still with us.

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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 # 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.

Petition # 299 : The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

Petition 299# : The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE 
Prime Minister of Japan                                                                                                         

The Hague, 8 October 2019
Petition: 299
Subject:  The inauguration of Emperor Naruhito is an opportunity.

Excellency, 
On the forthcoming occasion of the inauguration of Emperor Naruhito you have the opportunity to call for a new opening to our dialogue. It will not only pay respect to Emperor Showa’s regrets, but also it will demonstrate Japan’s willingness to respect, from a historic point of view, its future relationship with the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It fits with your “sobering sense in reassessing Japan’s post war diplomacy”.

Prime Minister,
The presence of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at the inauguration should strengthen  your willingness to reassess Japan’s Second World War military history. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is ready, on behalf of the Dutch citizens from the Netherlands East Indies occupied by Japan during World War Two, to deepen the dialogue. 

Prime Minister,
I refer to Emperor Showa as presented to you in our previous petition 298. “Emperor Showa could not express his “deep shame” and responsibility that he could not stop the military under Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. It was Emperor Showa’s wish to reflect and not repeat all the bad things done by the Japanese War Government and its Imperial Military. In the spirits of Emperor Showa you must consider Japan’s historic duty.” 

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

We are looking forward to be hearing from you soon,

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 298: Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize

Petition: 298: Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 September 2019
Petition: 298
Subject:  Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize.

Excellency, 
Documents published by NHK record, according to Mr. Michiji Tajima, first grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency during the reign of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, that Emperor Showa was prevented to apologize on the World War II in 1952. Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida opposed the Emperor’s plan to publicly express regret and remorse, as “it could prompt people to say he was responsible for starting the war or Japan’s defeat.” Emperor Showa could not express his “deep shame” and responsibility that he could not stop the military under Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

Prime Minister,
As you know the same Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida signed the San Francisco Peace treaty on 8 September 1951, recognizing that “Japan should pay reparations for damage and suffering caused during the war”.However at that time it was recognized that Japan did not have sufficient resources to make complete reparations. Everyone wanted peace and felt that Japan should be given the opportunity to restore itself. The political pressure on the Dutch government was immense to accept that Japan would not reimburse individual victims. It forced the Dutch Minister of foreign affairs Mr. Stikker to sign the Yoshida-Stikker agreement preventing the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies to claim individual reparation. The basic constitutional rights of the individual Dutch were waived in favour of global peace. Since then Japan has the resources to make good the individual reparations. In good faith  the Japanese government must consider an ex gratia arrangement involving the surviving Dutch victims. 

Prime Minister,
It was Emperor Showa’s wish to reflect and not repeat all the bad things done by the Japanese War Government and its Imperial Military. In the spirits of Emperor Showa you must consider Japan’s historic duty. The consequences of the belligerent parties of World War II are still not completed. It was the Chancellor of Germany Mrs. Merkel who called on Japan to straighten out pending matters in good faith.  Recently the German President Mr. Steinmeier asked the Polish people to pardon the German occupation of Poland during World War II. Japan must follow Germany’s example as Emperor Showa intended! The forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo are the moment to reconcile Japan’s military history and to follow Mrs. Merkel call.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President.

Petition # 297: Rehabilitation of Justice

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.