His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 10 December 2013.
Subject: Renewal of the dialogue upon the arrival of the new Japanese Ambassador to The Hague.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts has presented many petitions to the Prime Ministers of Japan conveying the same message:
Requesting Japan to show its moral responsibility for the remorseless brutalities by the Japanese military conducted during their occupation of the former Dutch East Indies from 1942 till 1945.
Despite the desire expressed by Japan’s Ambassadors in The Hague to maintain a dialogue with the Dutch from the former Dutch East Indies represented by the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, these petitions were never acknowledged and the message ignored. Moral responsibility is not a legal matter, but a matter of conscience and principal. It is the way in which we respect each other, admit our mistakes and crimes, apologize and compensate for the ill feelings and damage done. A genuine dialogue between Japan and the Foundation is required in establishing mutual understanding and acceptance.
Compare Japan with Germany. After World War Two Germany realized how the individual survivors suffered and what they lost as result of the war which Germany started. Without pressure from the Allies, Germany accepted moral responsibility, offered their apologies and compensated the damages inflicted by the German military and their political systems. Germany did this generously and without hesitation. Despite haunting memories and unrepairable damages to health and property the efforts made by Germany were accepted by the victims. Germany is respected as a nation of conscience and principals. They enjoy a status of respect and reliability.
Japan could be in a similar position by accepting moral responsibility. It would be appropriate for you to understand the meaning of the more than 200 petitions presented to Japan’s Prime Ministers since 1993.
A new Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of The Netherlands has been appointed. His Excellency Masaru Tsuji must be given time to read our previous petitions. In particular the last 50 petitions, which outline our suggestions, are essential for a meaningful dialogue. As a matter of goodwill and conscience we ask you strenuously to provide the new Ambassador with new instructions so that we can seek jointly for an appropriate and creative solution.
In the meantime, as already requested in our previous petition 228, may we ask you to stop visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. You should not honor convicted war criminals! Stop hurting the millions of people who still suffer from the after effects of the Second World War Two started by Japan.
We would welcome an acknowledgement of the receipt of this petition by you personally.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk