His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 June 2013.
Subject: Consider Japan's moral obligations from the recent past before changing the constitution.
At the expense of the individual victims of Japan's occupation of territories in South East Asia during World War Two Japan's wealth grew since the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951. In paricular, the Dutch from former Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, were denied by this treaty to claim from Japan their individual loss of health and property. The parties to the treaty were generous to the Japanese people despite the cruel violations of human rights by the Imperial Military. The so called Yoshida-Stikker agreement turned out to be a farce leaving the Dutch surviving the Japanese concentration camps with a pittance. The traumas, ill health, loss of property and career they had to endure were forgotten. Those who survived and who are still alive suffer daily from the brutal and sinister treatment in the name of the Emperor at the hands of the Japanes military.
In 1947 the United States of America drafted a new constitution for Japan bearing in mind how Japan terrorized its neighbors in war, violating human rights and looting the properties of individuals. In that constitution article 9 made it clear that Japan:
"Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."
Now more than 60 years later you as Prime Minister want to change this noble article forgetting the reasons why the Americans put it in in it in the first place. Unfortunately, one must admit that the ideal world has not materialized. War is still going on as the means settling disputes. In revising the present constitution Japan must settle its historic failures too. The moral obligation towards the victims of Japan's military aggression is not only a must in preventing future wars, but is also in keeping with the Japanese aspired peace tradition.
It appears that you and your party continue to glorify Japan's military past. Changing the constitution and remembering the effective date of the San Francisca Peace treaty as restoration day, 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 stained and suspect. You cannot pass this responsibility on to your and Japan's children. You must act now, acknowledge the wrong doings of the Imperial Army and settle Japan's moral obligations.
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 and denied its moral obl;igations. Its politicians continue to hurt the victims by visiting the Yasukuni shrine.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk
It's hard to believe that a month has gone by since my husband and I were at the demonstration in The Hague. Time passes quickly. Petition 223 has been handed over today to the Japanese embassy. I wonder if I see any results in my life time.
Why can't Japan do what Germany has done.Japan has an obligation to the whole world. To China, to Korea, to Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. To Australia, The Netherlands, the US, the UK and a raft of others; to all the victims of Japans aggression. The world does not 'misunderstand' Japan. There are not two histories- one for the rest of the world and one where Japan is somehow an innocent victim. We know damn well what they did. It is time for the elders and leadership and these so called 'historians' of Japan to stop lying to their own people. They'd be the laughing stock of the planet if only their white washing were applied to crimes that hadn't been so heinous.
Another shining example of the quality of Japanese history, education. If you bother Shinzo ABE and Hashimoto to pick up a book now and again, you may discover that Japan has a great deal to apologize for from actions taken in World War Two. Your military actions are remembered by the people who are still alive today. They remember bodies rotting near a point where they were killed by Japanese soldiers. People who were there remember about soldiers tossing children around on bayonet tips. And mothers being killed in front of their children. It is very easy to point out how horrible the Nazis were. Probably even someone with your history grasp can understand that. But what you don't seem to understand is that the Japanese, aside from being allied with the Nazis, carried out their own mass murder in Asia. In the name of the Emperor liberating Asia from the west and from other Asians all at the same time. And of course, liberating people from life it self.
So I suggest buy some real history books so you can learn exactly what you need to be apologizing for and hopefully make up for the woeful ineptitude of local Japanese history instruction.
Stop lying about the cruel violations your Imperial military inflicted on human beings.