NGO, Status Roster.
His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 13 August 2013
Subject: Towards a genuine dialogue.
We congratulate you on your party's election victory giving you the opportunity to reform and to reflect on today's harsh economic conditions. To bring forward change Japan should adopt an approach which takes into consideration the effects of acknowledging the wrongdoings of the recent past (World War Two) and the benefits which such an acknowledgment would give Japan economically and morally. In our previous petition 224 we suggested that self-reflection and compassion are the main elements in looking forward to the future. We urge you to include in your reforms meaningful elements to resolve the disputes of the past.
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is a recognized NGO on the ECOSOC roster of the United Nations. In this capacity the Foundation advocated a regular dialogue with the government of Japan in order to resolve the enduring harm done to the Dutch nationals in concentration camps and outside those camps by the Japanese military during the occupation of former Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. We made many suggestions to cross the bridge between our differing viewpoints. Unfortunately Japan's response was a legal dismissal that wholly failed to address the moral aspects of our issue. Our issue is not new as it exists since the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty Japan. Article 14 (a) of that treaty "recognized that Japan should pay reparations for the damages and suffering caused by it during the war". "Nevertheless it is also recognized that the resources of Japan are not presently sufficient".
Despite the global depression it is clear that Japan has now the resources to fulfill its war obligations as an honorary debt to the Dutch. With your election victory in hand we look forward ta a meaningful dialogue crossing the bridge to a lasting solution.
We understand to our regret that his Excellency Yasumasa Nagamine has been called back to take up an important position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. In the short period that he was based in The Hague he appreciated why we called for a meaningful dialogue in which both parties are prepared to make concessions in seeking a lasting solution. As outlined above art. 14 (a) of the San Francisco Peace Treaty offers an opening to that solution. In your plans for an economic reform of Japan's infrastructure within the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan should acknowledge its commitment to seek a solution for the nationals of each of the Allied Powers. It would enhance Japan's commitment to humanity and human rights principles as regularly stated by your representatives at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Each year the month of August is emotional for you and us. We both remember and celebrate the end of World War Two on 15th of August. On 14th of August the International Memorial Day for Comfort Women is established, to remember them as the innocent victims of brutal Japanese military violations. Violations of human rights which cannot be repealed by a Peace Treaty. Let us work towards a genuine dialogue.
We would welcome an acknowledgement of the receipt of this petition by you personally.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk
Tomorrow August 15th is remembrance day. We will remember the fallen soldiers, and those who gave their lives so we could live in Freedom.
I hope sincerely that Japan will one day recognize their military wrongdoings. Japan up to now perfumed WW2 with their sweet-scented lies.
It's time to stop lying and face the truth.
Deal with history of invasion of your Japanese militarists and start paying respect to the feelings of the people of the victim nations and start recognizing Japan's past.
My mother's voice was silenced, but my voice will not be silenced as long as I live. I will keep writing about that horrible time, when Japan took away everything what was dear to us. Your military killed my father, raped my mother and her sister while we were in your concentration camp in Moentilan on the island of Java, the former Dutch East Indies.You beat them and tortured them right in front of us children. These horrible memories are haunting me and haunted my mother for the rest of her life.The terrible nightmares which we have to deal with.Soon the ones who were there will not be alive anymore.
But many of our next generations (our children and grandchildren) are asking for answers and recognition for what your military have done during World War Two.
As Ron Livingstone an Ex-POW said:" No one knows you were there unless you tell your story".
Listen attentively, and remember that true tales are meant to be transmitted--- to keep them to oneself is betray them.
I just read a newspaper article that an Ex-POW, who survived the horrors of the notorious Death Railway has written his memoirs. He is 94 years old and his book just came out. "The Will to Live" by Len Baynes's.
He kept a diary while working on the railroad on pieces of scrap paper which he smudged after writing the daily happenings. He was the only one who could read what he had written down. He kept the pieces of scrap paper in a corner of his sleeping quarters. Many times the 'Japs" were asking him about these crumpled papers. He would tell them that he kept them handy because he had diarrhea.
It's important that we will be reminded all the time how cruel war is.The millions of crosses are a reminder, their voices are silenced forever. But we have to keep their voices alive by remembering their sacrifices, so their death was not in vain.
Poem by Win Rainer, wife of a former POW.
Can we ever forget 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.
Survival through starvation and it's brutality
Men dying without hope a reality
Can we in a modern day appeal
That Changi Jail it's mortality seal
A monument to be made secure
For those who died and those who endured.
Lest we forget!