Petitie #235: Review of the Kono apology.

His Excellency Shinzo ABE

Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 June 2014

Petition: 235

Subject: Review of the Kono apology.


In our previous petition 234 we stated that the Kono Statement and the Murayama Statement are only limited apologies as they deny Japan’s full liability for the consequences of the Imperial Army’s violations of human rights. We presented the points which should at least be included in the lasting apology by Japan on behalf of its people. The San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 did not discharge Japan from its moral responsibility. What happened in the past has a bearing on Japan’s future.

Prime Minister,

The announcement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga that a “verifying team” is to study how the Kono Statement was established and on which facts it was based makes the remarks in our petition 234 even more valid. Although the Chief Cabinet Secretary remarked that the Kono Statement will not be revised during your administration, it begs the question what will happen if the review concludes differently to the official apology. This is why we request the Japanese government in a gesture of penance to promise in the apology that it will never happen again. Indeed a commitment which will be lasting into the future. President Barak Obama’s damning remarks in Seoul following his visit to Tokyo about Japan’s institutionalized forced recruitment into prostitution during World War II as a “terrible, egregious violation of human rights” should be taken into account by the “verifying team”. As should Japan’s general unwillingness to accept the world’s disapproval of Japan’s World War II past. We recommend you instruct your verifying team to involve surviving victims from the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) in its review.

Prime Minister,

The issues which the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts presented in her petitions are issues which will not go away. It is not a legal matter but requires an Honorable solution in accepting the moral obligation stemming from the behavior of the Imperial Army during World War II. We are confident that if you put the question to the Japanese people, they will admire your courage and agree to resolve this painful memory of World War II. And this will allow your country to move far more quickly into the future.

We require a personal acknowledgement of the receipt of this petition.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,

J.F. van Wagtendonk