Petities

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

Petition #271: Pay respect to Japan’s war victims.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 June 2017
Petition: 271
Subject: Pay respect to Japan’s war victims.

Excellency,
As Prime Minister of Japan you undoubtedly have a long term “to-do” list of things you want to achieve during your tenure as Prime Minister. Foremost on this list will be to re-establish Japan’s position in the World. Japan values respect, but does not understand why the world does not respect Japan. By denying the moral obligations stemming from the Comfort Women issue, denying the Nanking atrocities and denying the atrocities inflicted upon the Dutch in Dutch East Indies the present Japanese government has itself to blame. We believe that paying respect to the war victims of Japan’s actions should be number one on your “to-do” list. We do not hate the Japanese – but do not have respect for Japan because of its lack of moral commitments to the victims of its military during World War II.

Prime Minister,
The proposed changes to the present constitution renouncing war underscore the world’s suspicion of Japan’s military tendencies and lack of responsibility for its military past. The North Korea security threat should not be used as an excuse to change the constitution. The North Korean nuclear armed missile ambitions must be dealt with within the Asian region and not by a change in Japan’s constitution. Your aim must be to cooperate with your enemies of the past in seeking a lasting peace; and to resolve your country’s moral commitments towards your enemies of the past.

Prime Minister,
Recently one of the Founders of our Foundation died at 97 years old. She had hoped that before her death Japan would have come to terms with the Foundation in acknowledging its obligations to the individual Dutch victims of the brutal Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies. Before dying she asked us to remember that she had been fighting for respect and dignity for as long as she could; and to never give up to point out to Japan its obligations! The surviving members of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts have that as their number one item on their “to-do” list.

Prime Minister,
We are awaiting your reply.

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

Petition #270: War-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 9 May 2017
Petition: 270
Subject: War-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

Excellency,
Japan’s present constitution prevents Japan to engage in an offensive war. Article 9 established Japan’s pacifism as it forever renounces war. Land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential will never be maintained. Japan was not involved in using military force overseas since 15 August 1945. World War II has been very “costly” for Japan and its opponents, both in lost lives and individual prospects as well as materially. The San Francisco Peace Treaty enabled Japan to recover economically, but left the individual victims with an open wound. On paper Japan apologized and paid tribute to the victims, but materially it failed to “share” its new found wealth with the victims its military made during the occupation of overseas territories. The image of Japan remains shifty and unconcerned with the victims it made in going into World War II. Renouncing article 9 of the Japanese Constitution without repairing the World War II damage makes it clear that Japan has not learned lessons of the past.

Prime Minister,
In this context it is remarkable that a parliamentary group of legislators are working together to establish a system to compensate civilian bombing survivors of World War II air raids on Japan. They submitted a multipartisan bill on April 27. The proposal is not limited to Japanese citizens as it is regardless nationality. It thus includes the Dutch Civilians who were transported as slaves to Japan to work there. The legislators are concerned with the survivors of the war which the constitution renounces forever. You should enhance this initiative to include our surviving members also.

Prime Minister,
We are awaiting your reply.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President

Petition #269: Why are the Dutch from Dutch East Indies yearning for a solution?

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 April 2017
Petition: 269
Subject: Why are the Dutch from Dutch East Indies yearning for a solution?

Excellency,
It is more than 70 years ago that Japan capitulated and was occupied by the Allied Forces. Japan had its San Francisco Peace Treaty, in 1952 rectified by the then members of the United Nations. The Peace Treaty ignored, contrary to the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, the sufferings and losses of the individual victims. The Yoshida-Stikker protocol of 1956 was a shameful document showing hardly any respect to the victims and failed to give any solace to the Dutch victims of Japanese military terror. It took 5 years to conclude, as its completion was subjected to the paroling of convicted Japanese war criminals. Since then successive Japanese governments stalled the discussion on acknowledging its obligations to the Dutch victims of the Japanese military occupation. The cynical conclusion is that Japan will continue to ignore its responsibilities until all Dutch, who were in concentration camps or outside those camps on racial grounds, will be dead. Those still alive, most of them in their eighties or beyond, yearn for a solution whereby Japan acknowledges its military past and accepts the consequences of that acknowledgement.

Prime Minister,
Those victims still alive feel and remember more than ever and cannot forget their sufferings. They won’t talk about it in the hope that time heals. But their memory is vivid and horrendous. They read the papers and follow Japan’s predicament now in asking the United States of America for protection against possible actions from North Korea. Proposing, in a bilateral economic dialogue with the US, to exclude agriculture and automotive from the agenda. A typical Japanese attitude to delete or exclude what is contentious. A similar approach was followed in acknowledging war crimes in the Peace Treaty. At the same time nullifying the consequences that Japan could not pay the claims of the individual victims of those war crimes. This attitude needs to be adjusted. Japan has a PR issue: lacking to recognize the effects of its military past. It shamefully ignores its responsibilities for the sufferings it continues to cause.

Prime Minister,
There are enough problems in the world. Japan would gain much needed goodwill in suggesting a solution. We are awaiting your solution! The surviving victims yearn for a respectful solution.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk
President
NB When can we expect an official receipt of our petitions?