Petition 294 #: Reconcile in the Reiwa era.
His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 May 2019
Subject: Reconcile in the Reiwa era.
Please convey our best wishes and greetings to the new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. As a symbol of the State we hope that they will be ambassadors healing old wounds, in particular with the Dutch from the Netherlands East Indies. The Emperor does not have executive powers, but as symbol of the State and the unity of the people, deriving his constitutional position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power, he has moral authority. In reconciling the past with a view to the future of Japan’s international relations the Emperor may contribute in our discussion.
In my previous petition I mentioned that during Reiwa it is expected that the Japanese government will have the will and courage to rectify the moral obligations stemming from the Showa era, during which the San Francisco Treaty was agreed and the state of war was terminated. During that era the present Japanese Constitution was established and never changed.
As the Prime Government Executive your goal among other matters is to clarify the constitutional status of the Self-Defense Forces. According to article 9 of the Constitution Japan is prohibited from possessing military forces and other war potential materials. It questions the legal position of the Self-Defense Forces. In the rapidly changing political global circumstances consistency is required. However the truth why the prohibition was included in the Constitution must be clear to all people both in Japan and abroad. The truth about the conduct by the Imperial Army during World War II must be told and the institutionalized silence on this matter must be lifted. The present Japanese government must accept responsibility for the past in order to restore faith in the Japanese institutions including the Self-Defense Forces and its political will to reconcile with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
In Germany denying Holocaust is a crime and liable to punishment.
In the Imperial Reiwa era Japan must come to terms with the war crimes of the Imperial Army during World War II. From a historical point of view the year 2020, 75 years after Japan’s capitulation, would be the right moment to do so.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk