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Monday, June 10, 2013

Monthly Demonstration The Haque.Petition 222

                                           FOUNDATION OF JAPANESE HONORARY DEBTS
                                                                                             NGO,STATUS ROSTER 

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 14 May, 2013
Petition: 222
Subject: Visits to the Yasukuni Shrine hurt war victims.


It hurts the victims  of the Japanese military war terror that ministers of your governments and members of the Japanese parliament continue to visit the Yasukuni Shrine allegedly honoring Japan's war dead. As you know among the dead honored by the visits are 14 former World War Two war leaders convicted of war crimes. This time you did not visit the Yasukuni Shrine, but paid for equipment made of wood and fabric, bearing your name and title, decorating an altar at the Yasukuni Shrine. Indirectly thus you approved the Yasukuni visits by your party members.These visits hurt. They deny Japan's vicious and brutal military history and demonstrate that Japan did not learn from its past. How often do we have to tell you this? Excuses are meaningless as long as you approve of these insults.

Prime Minister,
What a contrast to the Dutch remembrance on May 4th. The Dutch remembered their war dead both in Europe and in Asia at the Dam monument. Our King and Queen laid a wreath and paid respect to those who died. Both were visible moved and emotionally involved. The former commander of all Dutch military forces General Van Uhm reflected on war and the egocentric attitude of those who glorify war for their personal benefit. He strongly advised all to remember the consequences of war and its criminal aspects. War mongers have no respect for others but for themselves. "Not you nor me, but we all must adhere this advice."

Prime Minister
However, it appears that your party continue to glorify Japan's military past.Changing the constitution and remembering the effective date of the San Francisco Peace treaty does not revive Japan's economy. It does not restore a sense of hope and determination for the future. In practice it is contrary: as long as Japan does not acknowledge its World War Two moral responsibility to the victims and their next of kin Japan's relations in the world will be strained ans suspect.

You cannot pass this responsibility to your and Japan's children.

Germany did not need a peace treaty to recognize that there was hope and determination for the future. The post war leaders of Germany recognized immediately after the war that the German nation would never be trusted again as long as they did not acknowledge the wrongdoings during World War Two. They paid respect, acknowledged and compensated for their wrongdoings.
Japan used the San Francisco Peace Treat only to its own benefit, avoided its moral obligations and will remain haunted for it. In the meantime Japan hurts the victims by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,

J.F. van Wagtendonk

We were able to join the demonstration in The Hague on this day May 14, 2013. As usual the curtains of the Japanese Embassy closed as soon as we arrived.

The Hague, Japanese Embassy.
The curtains are closed, Japan doesn't seem to be able to face the truth.

How much longer will Japan try to ignore us? How much longer will Japan keep hurting the victims from their vicious past? Is Japan ever going to acknowledge their wrong doings. Your military worked our fathers to death, raped our mothers and children, starved us to death and beat us to death.For almost four years you kept us behind barb wire and high walls and fences. You were using our mothers as slaves, to work your vegetable on the fields outside the camps. From morning till night they had to dig and shovel.
Dig and shovel in the burning sun.

The wall in camp Tjimani, where the Jap, European and Ambonese women tortured.1944
When we grow older we get caught up in our past. When my mother passed away I started to think about myself and began to wonder about our tumultuous past. It's when you reach a certain age, and the persons most dear to you pass away, you begin to wonder how it was that I had become the person I am today. When you are young you are too busy building your future, you have no time reflecting on the past, all you think about is your future. Although my nights were often disturbed by demons from my childhood, I managed to push them to the background. Since I am retired my mind has been constantly occupied with my past and what happened to us during World War 2 in the Far East.
I was only one and half years old when my mother, her sister and my two cousins were taken from our houses and put in concentration camps.We were taken to Moentilan to a former Catholic training college. This would be our home for the next two years and eight months.Locked up by the Japanese with hundreds of other mothers and their children.We only had a bed, if you could call it a bed.On August 1, 1945 we were taken to another camp Banjoebiroe 10, where the Japanese were planning to mass murder us.I was 4 1/2 when we were finally free , my mother near death.
Over full prison, Banjoebiroe 10.

It's unbelievable what a four year old can remember, it's blurry, but I often confronted my mother with questions. All her  life she has tried to erase it from my mind.
What I saw as a 41/2 year old will forever be burned in my brains.Things I did not understand at the time, horrible things, which sometimes come back at me with so much force.Things I now start to understand.Things which gave me nightmares as a child.There was one picture which I was never able to forget.There was a church on the property of this concentration camp and I was waiting for my mother, because I had seen that a man with big boots....  (a Japanese) had taken her inside.Actually he had dragged her. I waited patiently outside, because I knew that I was not allowed inside.Finally my mother came out,she was crying and I remember seeing blood. It's something a child will never forget. I had no idea at the time what your military had done to her.

Punishment in the sun for hours.
 After 5 minutes.....After 1/2 an hour....... After one hour or longer you could hardly stand up.
Punishment in the rain in the middle of the night after a hard days work.
For the longest time she never talked about it, until her arrival in 1946 in The Netherlands she told her younger sister that she was raped numerous times inside that church. Only just 24 years old. Her life shattered, her husband, my father killed by your military, starved, beaten and worked to death on your horrible railroad tracks through the jungle. The Birma railroad line.

Not only my mother was raped her sister who was in the same concentration camp with her two small children was also viciously abused numerous times.How can Japan keep denying that this did not happen?
It makes me terrible sad to think about it. To live the rest of your life with these horrible memories must have been not easy. When Hirohito the emperor of Japan was invited to The Netherlands in October 1971, my mother and her sister were in disbelieve. How could this be, this murderer would be walking on Dutch soil, and would sit with our Queen at a table full of wonderful food and beautiful dishes. The pictures in the newspaper showed a smiling Hirohito next to our Queen on the balcony at our Palace. She and her sister never believed in our Queen ever again.

That day my mother and her sister died a little more again.There faith was shattered.
Hirohito who had seen the war as an adventure and had cost in Asian 20 million people their lives. Hirohito who had given the order to murder every men, women and children who were in Japanese concentration camps.He did not care how it was going to be done, as long as the military got rid of them.Poison them, shoot them, starve them, as long as there are no traces left.Women had to dig trenches, which they did not know at the time, would be their graves.

The prime minister, Hideki Tojo, bragged  that no harm could ever befall the sun Goddess's blessed children and that their sacred homeland was inviolate. Hirohito was God, and damage to his land simply could not happen.
The military Samurai of the Sun God, would never permit such a sacrilege. Nihon Nippon, the sacred Land of the Rising Sun could never be bombed. That will never happen.Hirohito believed that they could win the war and would fight to the bitter end. Finally after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the emperor Hirohito decided to capitulate.
We were saved by the A-Bombs.

In December 2012 Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe planned to take back the excuses made to the so called "comfort women"- foreigners (amongst them Dutch) women, who during World War 2 were forced to have sex with Japanese military. It was said that it was necessary for their military who fought so hard to be comforted by women. The question was asked;" why Japan did not ship and use their own women to comfort their military".......No comment.
Many forum participants had no words for this shameless decision from the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe plans, to take back the apology.

Japan I only have one word for you: ' Shameless'.
Its 'Unacceptable' and ' an Infamous deed!
It's a disgrace and rude to take back a statement to win popularity amongst the extreme nationalists. How deep can you sink?. "Excuses are never temporary".
Which concrete sanctions have to be taken to Japan if the excuses to the "comfort women" are taken back.There are different opinions, J.T. de Heus is thinking about calling back the Dutch ambassador in Tokyo to discuss this matter.Mark Beumer pleads for a boycott of some Japanese products and an accusation to the International Court of Human Rights. Peter Lendfers hopes that Tokyo will be forced  to keep the apology in place and also that Japan will be forced to pay compensation to the victims.Fred Westen believes in an quiet diplomacy, he believes that threats with sanctions will not work with Japan. Rick Moermans thinks that sanctions are unwise due to the difficult times of the economy.

Not many survivors of that horrible time are still with us. But as long as we are able to, we will remind Japan of their past, so it will never be forgotten.
Let history not repeat itself.

This was a song which was often sang in camp, the author is unknown. It was written in Dutch so I try to translate it as best as I can.

Thanks for the memory!

Thanks for the memory
And thanks to the lovely Jap
Who we never forgot
The pleasures we had were so nice
There, in that over full paradise
Oh, I thank you so much

Many's the time we feasted
And few the times we fasted
Oh, well, it was swell while it lasted
We did have fun, and no harm done.

Thanks for the memory
and thanks to uncle Yamaha
Of whom we laughed so much
And Charley, the succulent little man
He studied to become a police man
How lovely it was with these yellow men.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to use one of your pictures if I may in my new biography. How do I go about getting your consent?
    Alexia Lavroff