His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 April 2015
Subject: Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts 25th anniversary.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts was founded on 4 April 1990 for the purpose of looking after the interests of the Dutch from Dutch East Indies. During the past 25 years the foundation tried to reach an agreement in good faith and trust with you and your predecessors. On the basis of acknowledgement and mutual respect we will continue to convince you that Japan has a lasting moral obligation towards the Dutch victims of the Japanese terror during World War II.
The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Yoshida-Stikker protocol of 1956 gave Japan the opportunity to restore its economy. As a result Japan could give war reparation loans to support many of the nations it occupied during World War II; but left out the Dutch from Dutch-East Indies on the grounds that the 1956 Yoshida-Stikker protocol had resolved Japan’s moral obligation voluntarily.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts disagrees with this view point as the “compensation” was only for the Dutch citizens who were locked up in concentration camps, forgetting the Dutch terrorized outside the camps. But also because the very small voluntary payment in no way covers the permanent mental and physical damage and sufferings inflicted on the victims by the Japanese Imperial Army. In addition the judgements by the Japanese lower courts, that Japan violated Laws and Customs of War on Land (the The Hague Convention of 1907) and the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War of 1929, made clear that Japan is obligated to the Dutch victims. The Supreme Court of Japan did not come to a conclusion as it dismissed the cassation on administrative grounds. The verdicts by Japan’s lower courts were not dismissed, shaming Japan forever.
In our dialogue with Japan’s representatives in The Hague we will continue to seek a mutually acceptable resolution for the Dutch victims of the Japanese terror during World War II. The 70th Anniversary of the ending of World War II is the opportune moment to make such a resolve and would give the 25th Anniversary of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts a “silver lining”.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk