Petition # 285 : We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018

Petition # 285 : We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018 .

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 14 August 2018

Petition: 285
Subject: We remember and honour our dead on 15 August 2018

Tomorrow, 15 August, we remember and honour the Dutch who died in and outside the concentration camps during the Japanese military occupation of the Dutch East Indies. For those who survived and are still alive it is a moment of reflection and sorrow. They remember the painful maltreatment, the unrestrained behaviour and the general misconduct of the Japanese military. The victims hardly talk about their experience not to burden their children, but also as people cannot believe that the Japanese Army did not have the discipline nor the decency to treat the Dutch war victims in accordance with the POW war conventions.  The occupation of the Dutch East Indies is a very black mark on the Japanese military history. Present apologies by post war Japanese governments are not accepted by the surviving victims, as Japan refuses to take its moral responsibility. The victims were not involved in those apologies. Hence they are of null and void value.

Prime Minister
We are very upset that in accordance with recently published documents it has become clear that Emperor Hirohito was very well aware of the planned attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military on the 7 December 1942. In a memo written by a member of the Japanese cabinet Michio Yuzawa on the same date, it is revealed that the Emperor had a conversation with Prime Minister Tojo informing him that the diplomatic discussions with Great Brittan and the United States were terminated and Pearl Harbor would be attacked. Thus starting the Pacific war, making Japan the aggressor and responsible for the material and immaterial damage. The Emperor supported in the conversation the Prime Minister and remarked “I think that we almost have won the war already“. The Emperor did not only support the war, but was part of it. His decision to capitulate on 15 August 1945 does not change that. The impression he wanted to give with his capitulation message, that he did not support the war effort, was politically motivated.  His responsibility to start the war remains. The present Japanese government cannot but accept that responsibility and come to terms with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts on moral grounds.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.

J.F. van Wagtendonk