Petition # 305: Past Corona Epidemic.
His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 14 April 2020
Subject: Past Corona Epidemic
The present Corona Epidemic reminds us of the Japanese military occupation of Dutch East Indies. The Dutch were singled out and locked up in concentration camps or in their homes. Again, we are not free, now during peace time. Now we are locked up in our own homes to stop spreading the Corona virus. The rest of the world is suffering unwillingly from their lock up or similar measures. The death toll is mounting and horrendous. In comparing the present situation with our experience, we do feel that we have seen it all before. We hope however that treatment and medicine, when it is found, will be made available and used. We respect and admire the doctors, nurses and the people who care for the patients and their next of kin. They were hardly there when we had to endure the lock up in Dutch East Indies. The surviving Dutch, now at least 75 years old, are extremely vulnerable and at risk. They are still strongly willed to survive the Corona Epidemic as they survived the Japanese military lock up of Dutch East Indies during World War II.
The side effects of the present Corona Epidemic to the survivors of the Japanese lock up are devastating. It brings back the hunger, the abuse, the brutality and the failure of Japan to acknowledge her moral responsibility for the inhumanity to the then surviving Dutch and the next of kin of those who did not survive. Japan, you and your cabinet are very focused on surviving the present Corona Epidemic but must review the future also in this context. In previous petitions we made the point to rectify the past in view of the future. It is now more important than ever to consider that future in the hope that many of your people and our people will survive the Corona virus in a better world respecting the past.
Today I will be handing over this petition to your Ambassador in The Hague. Traditionally this takes place on the second Tuesday of each month during which we discuss the context of the petition with the Ambassador. In view of the very strict social distancing rules in The Netherlands I will be handing over the envelope with the petition to a member of the Embassy staff. More than ever I would welcome a personal reply from you despite your very pressing agenda. I look forward to that reply.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk