His Excellency Yoshihide Suga,
Prime Minister of Japan.
The Hague, 12 January 2021
Subject: In the changing Corona world we cannot forget the past.
The board and members of the Foundation Japanese Honorary Debts wish you, your Cabinet, and the people of Japan a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year. During the present Corona pandemic, we all try to keep healthy and safe, and reflect also on the future not forgetting the past. In last year’s petition 302 I wrote that the effects of World War II are still not resolved satisfactorily for the individuals who endured the war. They still suffer from the memories and the pain both physically and emotionally. The survivors, the majority in their eighties, are again in the Corona lockdown cruelly reminded of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies. They cannot forget and feel the pain they had to endure during Japan’s occupation. Their next of kin try to console them but are restricted by the Corona lockdown. Due to Corona the world has changed dramatically. Let us hope that the vaccinations will restore the situation in a positive way.
In the same petition 302 I refer to: “a letter dated 29 May 2019 addressed to Mr. J.A.M Rijkes from Culemborg, written by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands. He 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, he refers further: ”That in accordance with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the 1956 Protocol Japan paid 10.000.000 USD 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.”
We still do not agree with this statement. However, we concluded with our lawyers, that it is time to confront the Dutch Government with the statement in the letter. We started a litigation on the grounds of a wrongful act resulting from the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Yoshida-Stikker Protocol. The possible result of this litigation does not indemnify Japan and itspeople of its moral obligations. I repeat therefore our 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 in support of the victims and their relatives.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk