His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 10 January 2017
Subject: A respectful and appropriate interpretation of the meaning of “everlasting condolences”.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts wishes you and the people of Japan a save and fruitful New Year. A year in which we will have the opportunity to present to you in person a resolve based on understanding and mutual respect for history.
On 27th December 2016 you and President Obama paid a memorable visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbour. As Prime Minister you offered:
“Sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place.”
What do you mean with “everlasting condolences”? The brutal and inhumane conduct by the Japanse military in the occupied territories and at home in Japan cannot be forgotten with “everlasting condolences”. It would require a more sincere acknowledgement of the war crimes. In fact it is an insult to those who died and those, some still alive, who suffered in concentration camps or were terrorized outside the camps. The sincerity of your condolences must be questioned as the Japanese defense minister, the day following your offer, paid tribute at the Yasukuni shrine honoring among others convicted war criminals!
In our previous petition we mentioned that here is no statute of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity. There is no limitation either in an acknowledgement of what took place during World War II neither to properly tell the people of Japan. The Japanese government cannot continue to insist that it never happened and try to erase the facts from history books and public memory. A statement of regret or a peace exchange program cannot satisfy those who suffered. We hope that in this New Year you and your government have the courage and determination to resolve the unfinished ends of World War II with the Dutch government.
We are still awaiting receipt of our petitions.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk