Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague,may 8,
2012 Petition: 210
Subject: Political will to keep lasting peace in South East Asia.
Many politicians focus on an ideal, one which they can present to voters and which will also continue them in power.Lasting peace is such an ideal, in particular if it furthers the economy. The United States has in their global strategies the ideal of lasting peace, and was quick to protect their commercial interests with their military might.After World War Two Japan, not so long ago the second economic power in the world, contributed to lasting peace with their economic successes. The favorable conditions Japan obtained with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty provided the basis to that success. However economic powers are shifting and the United States of America needs to seek alliances with the new powers in China and India. Both nations, who remember Japan's past vividly, will question the United States of America's close military cooperation with Japan and how this relationship will maintain lasting peace.
We believe Japan has the political will to keep peace in Asia between the growing new powers and must continue to stress this to all parties concerned. those parties, including the Dutch from former Dutch East Indies, will however only see Japan's efforts towards this in the context of how Japan acknowledges its past and deals with it moral obligations stemming from the conduct of Japan's military during the last World War. Despite the difficult economic conditions globally it is now the time to demonstrate that Japan did not forget its military past. Come forward with lasting plans to bridge the gap between verbal proclamations and doing, in fact, nothing. If there is a genuine political will to keep lasting peace invest in a genuine resolution of the past and in a truthful account of your country's history. In knowing your countries history one will more likely accept the moral obligations stemming from violation of human rights, unnecessarily harsh treatment of prisoners of war and in concentration camps, racial discrimination and organized compulsive sexual exploitation.
It takes courage for a politician to take the long term view in particular in a country where history is glorified and misconduct is neglected. We believe that you have that courage and look forward to your actions.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. Van Wagtendonk
This petition was handed over on May 8, 2012, and I was happy I was part of it.On Tuesday May 8, my husband Ruud, my girlfriend from England Sheena Tuffs, my sister in law Carla Hoogendijk drove to The Hague to participate at the demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy. Mr. Wagtendonk and Brigitte van Halder handed the 210 petition over to the Japanese Prime Minister.
After they returned from their meeting with the Ambassador we sang THE CAPTIVES' HYMN.
It was so nice to see everybody, particular my friend Elizabeth van Kampen. Elizabeth turned 85 years old this year.
After the demonstration we went to a nice restaurant and were offered a nice lunch.All and all a very fruitful day and we were thankful to be part of it.
The gathering of the former Dutch East Indies prisoners of war was a joy to see,
We are happy to live in a world now free.
Years have gone by and memories stay
We cannot forget the price we paid.
The atrocities of the past,
Of those who suffered, in memory last!
Those hopeless days of pain and fear
One day one month not knowing the year.
We survived through starvation and brutality
Men, women and children dying without hope of reality.
Now old and getting frail we try to find peace at last,
PLEASE Japan let us come to terms with the past,
Can we in modern time appeal?
The prison camps from then, it's mortality seal?
Accept the blame,
Remove the shame!
I know why, because your are ashamed. Why can't you accept the blame? If you do; there will be no more shame!
Here we are, in front of the Japanese Embassy. Carla my sister in law, my friend Sheena from England and me, Thea.
This poem by Win Rainer, wife of a FEPOW.
Can one ever come to terms with the past?
One has to, To move on, although memories last,
There is not perfection in man alone
But a strong ability to atone,
Strength of mind and heart is why
A future with faith of oneself lies.