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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monthly demonstration in The Hague. Petition: 227

                                           FOUNDATION OF JAPANESE HONORARY DEBTS
                                                                                                    NGO, Status Roster

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 October 2013.
Petition: 227
Subject: Women's rights.


The Dutch women inside and outside the Japanese concentration camps were a power of strength of which we, who were at the time children, are immensely proud of. During the Second World War the Japanese occupying military forces tried everything to suppress that strength of will with the ultimate aim to destroy the Dutch community in the Dutch East Indies. Despite harsh treatment and starvation the Japanese military failed to break them. More than 20% of the women and their children died in concentration camps or outside those camps. Your statement in the recent United Nations Assembly that it is " a matter of outrage that  there continues to be sexual violence against women during terms of armed conflict even now in the 21st century" is hypocritical. In this statement, which is beyond our comprehension, it appears you wholly overlook the 20th century violence which took place during the Japanese military occupation of the Dutch East Indies!

Prime Minister,
It is time for you and the people of Japan to remember and to acknowledge that during World War Two the atrocities of the Japanese Military in the occupied territories of Asia were common practice. The way they mistreated the Dutch in the Dutch East Indies requires special attention as it was not only how they executed their Tokyo instructions, but also how they discriminated against the Dutch on racial grounds, with the ultimate aim of destroying the Dutch community in the Dutch East Indies. In other words the Japanese authorities had the special intent to commit genocide as instructed in the "Order to kill". A war crime punishable indefinitely, a criminal liability which does not expire over time.

Prime Minister,
With your suggestion to work at home and abroad to improve the plight of women, you shift the attention away from the past practices of Japan during the 20th century. Since World War Two Japan has failed to acknowledge and to accept moral responsibility for the female victims of the military occupation. The Asian Women's Fund was an attempt to rectify this, but did not convince the victims. The government of Japan did not institute the Fund but asked private Japanese citizens to assist. Hence the attacks on Japan and its politicians have continued, as they fail to acknowledge the facts and legally commit funds for the atonement of victims and their next of kin.

Prime Minister,
The Japanese authorities failure to accept its moral responsibility for damage to the war victims by referring to the San Francisco Peace treaty of 1951 as legally binding is unacceptable both in the context of your recent UN statement and the fact that Japan has adequate resources to pay reparations to the individual victims. Moral does not mean "heartfelt apologies", but genuine excuses with atonement!

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

It's so important that we document the remembrances for those who's lives are over.If we don't, that personal knowledge will be lost forever. We seem to live in a time now where everyone seems to be just looking ahead as though we deem nothing in the past worthy of our attention. Times past simple disappear. But jet it is important to "discover" by simple looking behind us.There is so much to learn.
If you take the time to ask questions and actually listen to the answers.It's important to show appropriate respect for the lives and experiences of those who have come before us.
It's sad that we have indeed a short memory. The worst part of memory is that we tend to forget, and lose sight of the importance of past history.

Japan is a nation who seems to have forgotten their past.Although they remember the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki very well.
How come they pretend not to know about the atrocities their military inflicted on innocent women and children during World War Two? How come they deny the rapes on young women and even very young girls? My mother and her sister were one of them.Sexually misused by Japan's military during their captivity in these so called protection camps. These so called protection camps were nothing but filthy concentration camps where many women and children died of starvation and violence. It's hard for one to fully grasp the fear, pain, suffering and sadness that these women and children went through while imprisoned by the Japanese in these horrible camps, behind barbwire and high fences, rotting away as if they were nobodies.How come Japan has forgotten this past of their history? There are many war graves to remind us, the graves are our witnesses.
Very few of the women who were in these Japanese concentration camps are still alive today, but we their children who were very young while we were in these camps during that horrible time will as long as we live remind Japan of their past. We will never forget what the Japanese military did to our mothers.
It's time for Japan to pay their respect and acknowledge their wrong doings.