Today Japanese generation should acknowledge the damage caused by the Japanese military
The Empire of Japan, did not treat prisoners of war in accordance with international agreements, including provisions of the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907), either during the second Sino-Japanese War or during the Pacific War.
Moreover, according to a directive ratified on 5 August 1937 by The Japanese emperor Hirohito, the constraints of the Hague Conventions were explicitly removed from prisoners of war from China, the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the Philippines held by the Japanese armed forces and these POWs were subject to murder, beatings, summary punishment, brutal treatment, forced labor, medical experimentation, starvation rations and poor medical treatment. The most notorious use of forced labor was in the construction of the Burma–Thailand Death Railway.
According to the findings of the Tokyo Tribunal, the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1%, seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians.
Japan’s capitulation, announced by their Emperor Hirohito, was the factual end of World War Two and an end of the suffering of many Indo-Dutch and Dutch of Japanese terror. During their occupation of the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese military were assigned to humiliate, starve and finally kill the Dutch, Indo-Dutch, other Europeans, Australians and Americans. The death ditches in the Japanese concentration camps had been dug, the machine guns were poised for action and the Japanese military were just waiting for the order to execute. The two atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, followed by the quick collapse of the Japanese Empire, prevented the order being given. The terrible nuclear death of many Japanese saved the lives of the incarcerated Indo-Dutch and many others in the Dutch East Indies.
The unforgettable experiences, the inhuman suffering and the deep sorrow have scarred them for life and many, who are still alive after 70 years are in badly need of help. Close family members and friends also suffer from these traumas and are indirect victims of the Japanese terror. Many also have built a new life, often also in a new country, however this cannot compensate for the memories they have of the Japanese cruel occupation and they feel strongly that the young generations of the world should know and learn what happened and what the Japanese military were capable of.
Today Japan and their responsible leaders still do not wish to honor their moral obligation by offering their well-meant apologies to all the victims and compensating them financially.
If Japan wants to be respected as a nation, it should instead follow the Germans, who set a prime example how to do this with its “Wiedergutmachung”.