Petitie #231: What it means to know your past!

His Excellency Shinzo ABE

Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 11 February 2014.

Petition: 231

Subject: What it means to know your past!


We, children then but now in our eighties and seventies, had to endure the evil of the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies during World War Two. We know and painfully feel our past. We know how it was to endure hunger, maltreatment, enslavement and to be forced to see the humiliation of our mothers, sisters and brothers. We know how it feels not knowing what happened to our fathers, kept in separate captivity. It cannot be a surprise to you that we do not respect and cannot forgive those who gave the orders to maltreat us and ultimately the order to kill us all in order to hide the war crimes of the Japanese military.

Prime Minister,

We cannot understand that the children and grandchildren of those who issued the orders for war crimes are not ashamed of their parents. We cannot understand that these same people are being glorified and that their war crimes are honored. It is sickening to deny their evil past and have no compassion for those who suffered so badly. There is ample proof of the direct involvement by the Japanese military in coercing women into sexual slavery, which did untold emotional and physical damage. There is ample proof that Japanese military ignored behavioral conventions, were instructed to maltreat us all and conduct war crimes on a large scale. There is also concrete proof that the Japanese military were instructed at the end of the war to kill all captives to hide the war crimes which they knew would be uncovered.

Prime Minister

The Japanese leaders of the war period lost all respect for humanity. The present leaders must accept that and must not try to rewrite history. There is and there will never be honor in glorifying the Japanse military behavior during World War Two. It would be honorable for the present leaders of Japan to admit it and not to glorify the past. The good people of Japan must be informed about the past. We believe that they will appreciate honesty, and honor and accept the moral commitment stemming from art. 14 (a) of the San Francisco Peace treaty: “It is recognized that Japan should pay reparations for the damage and sufferings caused by it during the war.” Educate the people of Japan and communicate to them the truth. Stop ignoring the past and above all be honest in knowing your past.

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