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I was going to write about history of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts, and about the Dutch Government that they too have a social and moral responsibility to redress the past and come to a final acknowledgment in paying the so called Back Pay to civil servants and military and the war damage resulting from political decisions made by the Dutch Government in exile in London, during world war2.The Dutch government, who did not consider the human rights aspects of the situation, the Dutch government had already reached a settlement on compensation under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. The Japanese government and the Dutch government both have the moral and social responsibility to rectify the wrong doings of the Japanese Imperial Army, and go further than settlements made in the 1951 treaty and the Yoshida-Stikker agreement later, which were inadequate.
One must take into account the effects the Japanese occupation had on the Dutch and in particular the physical and material losses resulting from this occupation. But also the way both governments have avoided the moral issues in this matter.All claims were settled with the Peace treaty of 1951 and dismissed the members claim. In view of the Stikker-Yoshida agreement which was concluded after the signing of the 1951 Peace Treaty, this conclusion was incorrect, but the Japanese High Court concluded that claims were dealt with in that Peace Treaty and so dismissed the case.This was a great disappointment. However it was the Dutch government who signed the Peace Treaty and waived the ground rights of its Dutch East Indies citizens. So we hope to prove that the Dutch government has in fact taken over the Japanese Liability.I do not propose to discuss the details of Japanese brutality. It is sufficient what the Dutch government knows about the crimes the Japanese army committed and are documented outside Japan, and are "appalling". The expert opinion of Dr. Hermans on the after effects of internment and in particular the brutal treatment by Japanese soldiers is from great importance.In modern times in modern democracies it is common practice to consider not only the legal sides of a conflict but also the moral issues. Considering the moral issues is evidence of a reliable nation in the international world of the United Nations that can play an active role in the international bodies.
Japan says that they, the second economic power of the world, want to play an important role in the international bodies and are advocating permanent membership of the Security Council of the United Nations. It should therefore consider very careful the moral aspects of it's past and in particular the brutal way in which the Imperial Army conducted the war. Contrary to Germany, Japan has adopted a policy of a strictly legal approach, avoiding any moral responsibility.The legality of its approach may be questioned also, as Japan's Imperial Army's acts against humanity still stands as proven war crimes which can not be overruled or absolved by an independent Peace Treaty.This Peace Treaty should be considered as a moral issue which was signed due to political reasons.
We hope therefore that the Japanese and Dutch governments ultimately will acknowledge that they have a moral duty towards the Dutch from Dutch East Indies. That the Japanese and Dutch government want to be recognized as nations fighting for peace and justice, who take their responsibilities in the international bodies seriously, playing significant roles in human rights, conflict mediation and peace keeping forces. We believe that in doing so, they must consider their past and rectify their wrong doings.
Each second Tuesday of the month the Foundation members demonstrate at the Japanese Embassy in the Hague.
In May I will be in Holland and will be at the demonstration in the Hague with my cousins who like me were in Japanese prison camps.We honor our parents who have suffered tremendously under these brutal Japanese Imperial Army.They are gone, but we are still here and we will ask for recognition and acknowledges of the plight of the Dutch from former Dutch-East Indies and acceptance of the moral obligation of the Japanese people to redress Japan's past.
We hope that the Dutch Government acknowledge that justice needs to been done and the people from Dutch-Indies are compensated for loss of income and health as a result of the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies.
Many studies show that the Dutch government has taken a view that they could not afford to help their countrymen from overseas and that they have done enough in accepting their return home. The discussion with the Dutch government is that they too have a social and moral responsibility to redress the past and come to a final acknowledgment in paying the so called Back Pay to civil servants and military and the war damage resulting from political decisions made by the Dutch Government in London.
Considering the history of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts one must conclude that we continue the fight for justice and redress on moral and social grounds. The legal issues are important and in particular as one consider the future. This symposium was organized by the Foundation in order to pay attention to the individual plight in getting compensation from belligerent parties and that those compensations can not be waived by special treaties and local interpretations by judges. This is an investment for the future, which we hope both Japan and the Netherlands take at heart.
On behalf of the board of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.
J.F. van Wagtendonk. president
To honor our parents who suffered so tremendously under the occupation of the Japanese Army.Justification and recognition will come! Rest in Peace.