His Excellency Yoshihide Suga,
Prime Minister of Japan.
The Hague, 8 December 2020
Subject: December 7, 1941 Japan started the Pacific War.
7 December 1941, now 79 years ago, Japan started the Pacific War. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and brought the United States of America into World War II. Japan’s attack, on behalf of Emperor Hirohito, was devastating and brutal. Many died and those who survived had to live with a never-ending trauma.
During the war, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy committed widespread war crimes during the occupation of the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch, who are still alive, remember it too well. They are still waiting for Japan’s sincere apology with moral compensation for the horrors and lasting damage to their lives and their relatives. The current so-called Peace Exchange Program is insufficient to remove these reminders. The program is of very small-scale and involves very few real victims. The survivors are too old to endure the journey to Japan. It would be better for Japan to show genuine regret and remorse in a more appropriate program involving present survivors and survivors of the deceased.
In a letter dated 29 May 2019 to Mr. J.A.M Rijkes from Culemborg, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands wrote, abbreviated:
“Prime Ministers of Japan officially stated that Japan expresses the feelings of deep remorse and sincere apology for its actions during the war.” In the letter, the deputy refers further:” That in accordance with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the 1956 Protocol Japan paid US$ 10 million for the purpose of expressing sympathy and regret for the suffering inflicted during the war. The Dutch Government and the Japanese Government are in agreement that all war-related reparations have been settled with these agreements are regulated in accordance with international law. “
I do not agree with this statement and I object that reference to “international law” is being used in what I consider to be moral obligations of Japan and its people. Hence my request on behalf of the Dutch people from the Dutch East Indies to develop together with the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts a solidarity program for and supported by the victims and their relatives.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts Foundation.
J.F. van Wagtendonk