Petition #279: Building bridges

Petition #279: Building bridges


His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 13 February 2018
Petition: 279
Subject: Building bridges

In our previous petition we pleaded for a reconsideration of Japan’s position on the Yoshida-Stikker agreement concerning victims’ dignity and rights in accordance with international law. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s project for Peace and Friendship Exchanges was criticized and rejected as Japan did not want to acknowledge its responsibility to the victims. The attempts by other Prime Ministers failed to get the approval of the Diet. In the view of many Japan has a history of aggression and crimes against humanity, with total absence of genuine remorse. The common view outside Japan is that Japan must acknowledge the facts and, although it is nearly 75 years ago, there is a pressing need for Japan to come to terms with the victims of the Imperial Army’s misconduct during the Pacific War. The present government of Japan as successor of the Japanese war cabinet is still responsible for the shame and damage the Imperial Army committed during the Pacific War.

Prime Minister,
Japan’s moral responsibility is hardly known by the Japanese people. The educational curricula of schools and universities do not tell the true historical war facts. The Japanese political, academic and media establishment turn a blind eye to the Japanese war crimes and their gruesome details avoiding unpleasant questions.
In 1998 the Tokyo District Court confirmed that the misconduct by members of the Imperial Army was in violation of the 1907 Hague convention and illegal. In accordance with the IV Geneva Convention this fact could not be absolved by the San Francisco Peace Treaty. For political and economic reasons the governments, party to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, did not impose Japan to acknowledge, to apologize and to pay compensation to the victims directly.
Bridging the gap between the legalistic point of view taken by successive post war Japanese governments, the international law principles of the Human Rights Council and our overriding moral view requires careful consideration in finding a solution. Building the bridges to arrive at a satisfactory acknowledgement, apology and compensation the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts requests your immediate personal attention and direction in order to reach this achievement during your term as Prime Minister.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk