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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Our monthly demonstration.Petition 236

                                  FOUNDATION OF JAPANESE HONORARY DEBTS
                                                                              NGO, STATUS ROSTER

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 8 July,2014
Petition: 236
Subject: Japan's indigestible war history.


Why can you not accept that Japan lost its colonial war in 1945? Deal with it and recognize the moral consequences. Then you can concentrate on Japan's future in the Pacific region.As long as you do not accept this commitment your neighbors and the rest of the world will doubt Japan's intentions. Japan remains haunted by its past as it does not wish to acknowledge the historic facts.The sneaky way you try to throw doubts upon the Kono statement to satisfy local political interests makes Japan unstable and unreliable in the eyes of the world.Questioning the validity of the Kono statement and suggesting that the wording of the statement were established by diplomatic negotiations with the Republic of Korea is untrue and deceiving. The historic facts are overwhelming: the Imperial Forces committed war crimes as a matter of policy and were supported in this by Tokyo government. The Kono statement deals only with the terrible coercing of young women and girls by the Imperial Forces in Japanese occupied territories into sexual slavery, it does not cover the other atrocities committed by the Imperial Forces such as those to the Dutch in Netherlands-East-Indies.

Prime Minister,

Historical facts cannot be changed. As long as there is doubt about the meaning and amendments of apologetic statements by the belligerent nation Japan, the victims and their next of kin will never accept Japan's sincerity. They will continue to press for a universally accepted resolve to the Japanese Honorary Debts stemming from the misconduct by the Imperial Forces during World War Two. The continuous doubts expressed by you and by frustrated politicians, who remember it all too well but dare not take their responsibilities, are obviously done in order to avoid liabilities. If you are still in doubt about these historic facts have the courage to ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the facts and accept this honorably. For global acceptance cover not only the enforced sexual slavery issue, but the other issues such as crimes against humanity, and ignoring international conventions by the Imperial Forces. An independent investigation by historians and lawyers under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission would demonstrate Japan's sincerity to resolve the issues.

Prime Minister,
We require a personal acknowledgement of the receipt of this petition.

On behalf of of the Foundation of Honorary Debts,

J.F. Wagtendonk
Cc UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Those who fought and all others, paid a dear price for freedom as Pacific Theater prisoners of war, deserve and need to be remembered. Most of all they deserve our thanks! Joseph C. Crew, a former US ambassador to Japan and special assistant to the Secretary of State, said in an official statement:"The Japanese people as a whole would if they knew the facts, be utterly ashamed. I doubt whether the perpetrators themselves will have any feeling what ever of repentance. But others, including perhaps some of their highest leaders, may and probably will feel a sense of shame, or at the very least, a desire to offset in future this record of barbarism."

These men, women and children suffered their own holocaust and this has never been recognized. This terrible injustice needs to be rectified as soon as possible. These men, women and children waited too long for their private hell to end. "Justice should be at the top of the list," and the accounts and information about the barbaric behavior of the Japanese Forces should be incorporated in our history books. It might be a deterrent for any of this happening again. We also call for an apology from Japan for its inhumane wartime acts.
This is not about race and it is not about Japan bashing, Its about reconciliation and what's right.
This is about Japan's rampage through the Pacific, which was the equal of, if not superior to Hitler's rampage through Europe. Emperor Hirohito and his minister of war, Hideki Tojo, were as convinced of the superiority of their race and their right to rule their neighbors, as Adolf Hitler was convinced of the superiority of the members of the Aryan race and their right to rule the world.
With the blessing of the emperor  Hirohito, the Japanese steamrolled through the Pacific, screaming "Tora! Tora! Tora!. (Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.)  at Pearl Harbor and they never looked back.
People all over the world gasped as they read reports of the Japanese atrocities that made headlines into newspapers. The Japanese brutality, many of rape and torture, about heads hung on poles with the looks of horror still in their eyes. The East, it was becoming apparent to anyone, was no place for a Westerner not with Japan on the rampage carrying their banners;"Asia for the Asians".
Emperor Hirohito who was made out as an innocent bystander after the war, wrote a telegram that was send on September 8 1942 to "All Transportation and Communication Chiefs" in which he told them, that all white POW's, due to a serious shortage of labor power in Japan, the use of these white POW's is earnestly desired.
This was against the Geneva Convention treaties, which Japan had signed and totally ignored.
Tens of thousands of troops and civilians from Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States had become integral if unwilling, part of the Japanese work force. They were used as POW slave laborers. These slave laborers were put into work camps throughout Japan's expanding empire. The majority of the camps were centered in Japan's four main islands. Honshu, Hokkaido. Shikoku and Kyushu. But the network spread out to eventually include work camps in Korea, Thailand, parts of Japanese controlled China, Java, Formosa, and as far north as Manchuria. All were directed by Japan's Prisoner of War Information Bureau in Tokyo. POW 's were the property of their companies during the day and the Japanese Army by night. Brutal, dangerous working conditions were a staple of the camps.
The biggest of the employer's were Japanese family conglomerates known as zaibatsus, including Mitsubishi, Mitsui, NNK (Nippon Iron and Steel) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. At the POW complex in Mukden, Manchuria where the Mitsubishi zaibatsu oversaw textile and machinery manufacturing factories POW made artillery pieces that would be used against Allies. Next to the factories, in a place called Harbin, was Unit 731, where Japanese doctors used Allied prisoners for medical experiments.
King of the torture camps, in terms of sheer size and scope, was the moving chain gang that built the infamous Burma-Siam-Railway, through 225 miles of dense jungle. (This is where my father was a POW and where he was beaten, starved and worked to death. He died on September 18 1943 just one month before the railway line was finished. His friend survived the ordeal and was send to work camps in Japan. He met my mother when she was recovering in the Java center in Bandoeng in March 1946. He brought her his wedding ring and some belongings. He told my mother some of what had happened to them)
Of the 133,000 Allied prisoners of war taken by the Japanese, 36,000 died in captivity, a death rate of 27 percent, whereas German and Italian prisoner of war only 4 percent died during captivity. These prisoners of war fared considerably better in the European Theater, where Geneva Convention POW rules were more strictly observed.
Japan's prison camps extended the captives virtually no rights. Soldiers, civilians, women and children became slaves, powerless to do anything but obey their masters.
Hirohito, the war emperor died in 1989. It pains me to know that Emissaries from 163 nations and 27 international organizations gathered for the funeral of Emperor Hirohito, the biggest warrior who ever lived on this planet.
Most of the survivors from the Japanese Forces thought of them as beasts, although they were really not. A beast is an animal, and an animal kills only to eat. The Japs killed for fun.
Ambrose's description of World War Two: "The Japanese presentation of the war to its children runs something like this:'One day, for no reason we ever understood, the Americans started dropping atomic bombs on us'.
Mostly as the dearth of history books and discussions on the subject inside Japan attest, the subject is ignored.
My husband wondered how he would have held up under the brutality of the Japanese, the constant physical and mental abuse, the daily torment and deprivation. Would I have lasted three and a half year? He wondered if he would have been able to forgive the Japanese. It is difficult to imagine being in such a position.
The saddest of it all is that the United States of America and 48 other nations took away the rights of thousands of its fighting men in 1951 by signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
But the much discussed Article 14 (b) had been deleted from the text before the wording was approved.After the sentences "Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied power, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nations, arising out of any action taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war. The deleted parenthetical read: "(Including claims arising out of the treatment accorded by Japan to its prisoners of war and civilian internees)."If that phrase had been allowed  to stay in, it would have definitively prohibited future claims by prisoners of war and civilian internees. That parenthetical was taken out, because the Dutch wouldn't do the deal. The Dutch realized it couldn't be done. Their constitution did not allow the taking of private property without compensation. The Dutch had a hundred thousand civilian internees that had been in Dutch portions of the Far East. It opened the door for Dutch prisoners of war and civilian internees to later file claims, should they choose, against Japanese nationals.
Why then is it that our own countries abandoned these soldiers and civilians. How come these soldiers-slaves and civilians internees are rewarded with great injustice?
It makes me angry. This terrible injustice needs to be rectified. The victims are old and dying. They have waited too long for their private hell to end. Following the end of the war, our governments allegedly instructed many of the POWs held by Japan, not to discuss their experiences and treatment. Some were even asked to sign nondisclosure agreements. Consequently many Dutch, Americans, Englishmen etc. etc. remain unaware of the atrocities that took place and the suffering our prisoners of war and civilians endured. Some survivors can never forgive the Japs for what they had done to them. As for me forgive and forget are the same words and have the same meaning.I can never forgive what these bastards had done to my mother and her sister and I will never be able to forget. I was only five years old when the war was over and we were freed from our tyrants, but I can never forget the years after the war when my mother so often woke me with her screams in the middle of the night having these terrible nightmares.Too many of her friends did not survive the harsh conditions in these camps.So many of them she never saw again. Seeing young children, and her friends dying because there was not enough food and medication. My mother would often say:" Its a miracle that we survived,we were nothing more but bones held together by very little flesh", and that's all she would say. Many of my questions were unanswered, the past was hurting her too much.
How can Japan begrudge these world war two veterans and civilians, now grand fathers, grand mothers and great grand fathers and mothers, asking for justice? The Japanese people as a whole would if they knew the facts, be utterly ashamed......
They suffered quietly, they suffered bravely, and they remained resolutely true to their roots. Those held prisoners by the Japanese came home, mostly unnoticed.

My mother passed away in 2003, not even knowing that her husbands remains were taken to Kanchanaburi where he was laid to rest, amongst his friends. Why did she not know and why was she never told, she would have been so much happier if she had known that he had at least a grave. All her life she thought that his remains were somewhere laying in the middle of the jungle along the infamous railroad line.How happy would she have been if she could have seen this.