His Excellency Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, July 10,2012
Subject: Japan shares in Dutch art history and pays for it.
Dutch museums with their priceless collections of paintings by Dutch masters are lending these to Japanese museums and media organizations on a regular basis. It generates interests in the Dutch ability to paint long lasting images of their lives and their people. For the museum it is a welcome extra income needed to maintain the paintings and to present the collections to the general public. The Japanese public has taken great interest in these exhibitions both at home and abroad. Names of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh are well known in Japan.
We much appreciate the Japanese interest in our art history and are happy to share it. But what do the Japanese visitors to the exhibitions know about the Dutch East Indies, sometimes depicted in these paintings. Do they know the history of the Japanese occupation of Dutch Indies during World War Two? In particular are they aware of the Japanese military terror and violation of human rights during that occupation? Would that knowledge influence their appreciation for Dutch Masters? Would they question why after so many years after the ending of the War, the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts continues to insist that the present Japanese government acknowledges and accepts moral responsibility for that military conduct?
We believe that these exhibitions offer an excellent opportunity for both of us to provide the visitors with a bridge to our history, and to the true story of what happened and why despite all legal arguments there is a moral responsibility to redress. We are willing and able to prepare, jointly with our experts, an information pamphlet that reflects on Japan's history relative to the occupation of The Dutch Indies. It would give you the opportunity to express regret and it would give the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts the opportunity to express its ill feelings and its aim: to progress towards acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibilities.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts and its members have a long tradition to seek a redress in the relationships with the Japanese people of today, but it is firm in their demands that such a redress must be acceptable in its historic context.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk
My father Klaas van der Wal was very good at drawing. One of his last drawing he did was of a photograph of me. He never was able to finish it. He died of exhaustion and all kinds of diseases on that horrible Birma railroad track, as a POW of the Japanese.He was buried along side the railroad tracks in Kuiya. His friend barely survived and was able to bring some of his drawings back to my mother.
The drawing he was never able to finish.
The following is a drawing of the cemetery alongside the railroad tracks, where my father was buried. One of these crosses must have been my father's grave. His remains were transferred after the war to Kanchanaburi in Thailand. Rest in peace Dad.
NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
Japan except the blame, remove the shame.The drawings speak for themselves. When are you going to take responsibility., why are you in denial about the Japanese Army's atrocities during the Second World War?
It is a disgrace for Japan, it demonstrates that either Japanese officials do not know or do not want to know about the sufferings inflicted upon Netherlands nationals.
We will never forget, but we are able to forgive.
The drawing below was done of me in Japanese prison camp in Moentilan.I will never know who did this drawing. It is signed N.v.d.Nolen. I was only four years old, these eyes has seen a lot, and these eyes were not able to understand.
A war brings nothing but eternal hate,
and a pain that never heals
wounds that never seal
A war brings sadness to my heart
a feeling that is so dark
It takes pieces from my soul
A war will never let go.
A war is pain
It is a loved one lost
A grave that never leaves
is a broken family,
A war is a fight
A child caught between the
crossfire of a battle called life
This is a war inside of me
A pain that will never leave
and a war is what it will always be.
A war is tears ran dry, a question asking always, why?
a loneliness a need for people that are never there
A war like any other war, brings pain.
This is a Poem,
Written by: Richard Ferdin.