FOUNDATION OF JAPANESE HONORARY DEBTS
NGO, Status Roster
Prime Minister of Japan
The Hague, 11 November 2014
Subject: By Imperial/Royal command
It is with great respect and admiration that we heard the wise words spoken by both His Majesty the King of the Netherlands and His Majesty the Emperor of Japan at the state banquet during the recent State visit in Japan.
His Majesty the Emperor of Japan raised an important point:
"There had been several earlier plans for Queen Beatrix to visit Japan, but they were cancelled each time due to opposition in the Netherlands.
It was most unfortunate that these long friendly relations between Japan and the Netherlands should have been marred because of World War Two. While never forgetting this past, we hope to give more attention than ever to the promotion of good will between two countries."
In his reply His Majesty the King of the Netherlands made his position very clear:
"We will not forget-cannot forget-the experiences of the Dutch civilians and soldiers in the Second World War. The wounds inflicted in those years continue to overshadow many people's lives. Grief for victims endures to this day. Memories of imprisonment, forced labor and humiliation have left scars on the lives of many. The Japanese people , too, suffered terrible during the war, especially in the final phase, marked by such destruction and violence. Acknowledging the sufferings of others provides a foundation for reconciliation. Many in Japan and the Netherlands have actively worked to foster such a reconciliation, enabling new trust to grow."
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts did not object to this State visit by their Majesties the King and Queen, because of the hope and belief in their goodwill and genuine interest in the well-being of the Dutch Nationals, who suffered both inside and outside the Japanese concentration camps at the hands of the Japanese military during the occupation of Dutch East Indies.
The monarchs of our countries have spoken and instructed you and me to come to terms "enabling new trust to grow." The people of Japan and the people of the Netherlands expect, and deserve, this from us too. It is not a political issue, but a moral issue that needs to be resolved. The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts has painstakingly tried to maintain a genuine dialogue with various Ambassadors representing Japan in The Hague, the Netherlands. We suggested various possibilities to bridge the gap but met a stalemate of legal arguments, whilst we must find the moral solution acceptable both for the people of Japan and of the Netherlands.
Morality is strongest when it is transferred into tangible and real actions and results.
You and I now have a honorable challenge to meet, set by my King and your Emperor. In my capacity as the trusted representative of the war victims and in your capacity as well-respected statesman we have the chance to recreate shared morality between our two peoples.
We cannot fail our Royals, as they are the ultimate moral embodiment of our two peoples. You and I now hold the key to reconcile that period in history that is so hard to forget. It would be a personal shame for both of us to not succeed in this challenge.
His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and His Majesty the King of the Netherlands expect that we move forward. I am prepared to do so and expect you will do so also.
Amendments to the 1956 Yoshida-Stikker protocol may be the base for arriving at an understanding. It is never too late to do the right thing.
On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,
J.F. van Wagtendonk
Established 4 April 1990
Zoutmanstraat 23X, 2518 GL. Den Haag Tel: 0703063742 Fax:0703062388
Today is Remembrance Day, and I will remember them, who gave their life so we could live in peace.I wear my poppy with pride.Today the 11th day of 11th month at 11 o'clock we remembered...............
Poppies are worn to commemorate servicemen and women who have been killed in all conflicts since 1914. The poppies are worn from the 2nd until Remembrance Sunday. This year the 11th.
In Flanders field the poppies blow'
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Flanders is a region around the border between Belgium and France, where several major battles took place. After the war the fields bloomed with bright red poppies, which is apropos considering the amount of blood spilled there. The tradition of wearing the poppies was started by an American humanitarian named Moina Michael.
You don't change the past,
You change the future.
Sounds good, doesn't it? Forgive, which was a word that made no sense to me This made me start to think about the word forgive.So many times I heard somebody say; I forgive the person or persons who tortured, starved,and killed dozens of people, women, children and men. I always wonder what made them say this. How can one forgive another human being for such horrible crimes. I will never be able to forgive what the Japanese military had done to my mother and her sister while in these horrible concentration camps for three and a half years during World War Two. But after I read the following I started to think about the word forgive.Would I be able to say:" I forgive the Japanese military for what they have done to my mother, her sister and their husbands, our fathers.and thousands of innocent women and children.These monsters systematical starved, tortured and worked us to death. How can a human being turn it's back on a child who is hungry and torture this child eating delicious food in front of this child's eyes.Children who died daily in the camp because the mothers had no food to give them,and no medicines to give them. While the Red Cross had send food packages and medicines for us. The Japanese kept it for themselves and tortured the children, with promises and than turning their backs.While I am writing this, it still makes no sense to me to say the word forgive(."I forgive.") am I able to say it??? I still struggle to actually say it and mean it.Deep in my heart I will never and can never forgive those monsters. The Japanese military had ruined my mothers and her sisters life.I saw the daily struggle of my mother after the war. I knew she had these terrible nightmares.A war never ends for a war victim. Once a war victim always a war victim.If I came face to face with these monsters who call themselves soldiers, I would never be able to tell them;" I forgive you for beating and raping and starving and working our mothers and fathers to death. I forgive you for killing my father, for pushing men off the cliffs when they were no use to you anymore, killing other human beings as if they were puppets, who run out of fuel.I can never say ;"I forgive the former Japanese military for all they have done to other human beings, during World War Two. These people were not human. How can one forgive these evil people?Look what is happening now with these evil people ISIS. They are doing the same as what the former Japanese military did to innocent women and children. Ask yourself ; Can you forgive these evil people who are murdering and raping innocent women and children, because they have a different religion? It's sad, but as the above says;You change the future!??? Nothing has changed, people are still killing each other because of religion and politics..
|Banjoebiroe 10 concentration camp.|
The following is a poem from a Dutch boy, his name is Peter and that's all it says.I will translate as best as I can.
Did I bow deep enough Mommy, so you didn't get beaten?
Is it because of that, dear Mommy that you were silent all those years?
Did you look during that time through the eyes of your child
and heard through the ears of children the stress before the Roll Call started?
Mommy do you have any idea what they did to my soul ?
because of those screaming Jap's in that camp so far away!
Many children who grew up in these camps can relate to this. The scary moments standing there all lined up before those scary men with these big swords and boots, in the hot sun or in the Monsoon tropical rains.The monsoon started in June and it could be very cold.It would rain for days which made the Roll Calls even harder. You had to bow precise,women and children would stand there for hours on end. It was like these Japanese men had nothing else to do, and enjoyed themselves tremendously seeing us getting soaking wet from the rain or getting soaking wet from the hot sun beating down on our heads.Sometimes we had to stand there for hours as punishment, because somebody had done something wrong. That was the worst, everybody had to be present at roll-call (Tenko) and it meant for everybody to stand there for hours in the burning sun, even the children and the sick had to be present.Many women or children collapsed. When you tried to help this person, you were punished by the guard. You received a severe beating with a cane and had to stand for hours in the sun without food or even a drink. Some women succumbed. The Japanese guards were brutal. Once my cousin and I were playing outside in the dirt, our mothers were nearby, and a Japanese Officer passed by, our mother's bowed and my cousin and I smiled and waved at him. Oh dear, we forgot to bow. He stopped and asked our mother's if these child's were theirs. Then he started to scream in Japanese to our mother's and he started to hit them. They had to come with him, and he pushed and shoved, and pulled on their hair, and in front of the church for everybody to see, they had to stand straight up with their faces towards the direction of Japan and at his command they had to bow for him. My mother looked at him and spit him in the face. She should never have done that, because this triggered an explosion of madness from this Japanese Officer. He beat them with his sword and ripped their clothes.This man lost control and nearly killed my mother and her sister, because their three year and four year old children had not bowed for him.My cousin and I screamed and cried, because we had no idea why our mother's got spanked. Had they been a bad girl, because only bad girls got slapped.
|My Mom, October 1941|
|My Mom, March 1946.|
Yes today is Remembrance day. I wear my Poppy, are you?