His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 March 2014.
Subject: Review of the 1993 Kono statement!
The world is astounded by your government’s decision to consider revising the so called Kono statement of 1993. According to your chief Cabinet Secretary evidence given by “comfort women” is to be re-examined. Much of the information given has been verified by many and proven to be correct. Whilst considering the evidence it is opportune also to consider the evidence taken by the 1946 – 1949 Temporal Military Tribunal of Batavia. 356 Japanese military and their civilian agents serving in Netherlands East Indies during its occupation were accused of war crimes. Of the accused 59 (more than 20%) were sentenced to death and subsequently executed. Only 27 (less than 10%) were acquitted.
Among the cases considered by the Tribunal was the so-called Semarang compulsory prostitution case. Officers of the Japanese army and their Japanese civilian agents were convicted for removing, under force and threat, young European girls and women from concentrations camps. These girls and women were coerced into prostitution for Japanese officers. The victims made sworn statements that they were not volunteers, but were abused and forced by camp commanders, systematically raped and forced into sexual slavery for Japanese officers in specially organized “clubs”. The Tribunal punished the Japanese offenders severely including the death penalty and long prison sentences.
It would have been more courageous if you had taken the opportunity of the revision to personally announce that you would bring the “revised” Kono statement to the Diet for approval. Then you should widen the scope of the apology to include the brutal and unacceptable and unlawful behaviour of the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in the occupied territories of South East Asia during the World War Two. Failing to do so will continue to question the sincerity of Japan in recognizing its past and apologizing for its war crimes. It will worsen Japan’s global moral standing. Japan must accept responsibility and face up to its past. It must make good what it had failed to do so far, for the survivors and their next of kin. An obvious and weak willed attempt to undermine the victims of your country’s military will only add to Japan’s further shame.
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