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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Clarification of Our Messages in the Open Letter

One thing I would like to make clear regarding the Open Letter to the Emperor and Empress of Japan is that we did NOT ask the Emperor for an apology. Some media reports made it sound like we did, but nowhere in the letter we asked him to apologize. Our intention of the letter, instead, was to support his efforts for peace.

To elaborate, the main messages of the Letter are:

- First and foremost, we warmly welcome the Japanese Imperial couple to Canada, a country with a rich diversity of communities and beautiful nature.

- We introduce ourselves as Canadian organizations with different backgrounds, working together to create peace in Northeast Asia.

- We regret that there are non-reconciliatory responses from Japan to the global community’s efforts to help bring healing and justice to the war crime victims of WWII in the Asia-Pacific regions.

- We would like to see redress offered by the Japanese government to the victims of China, Korea, the Philippines, and all the other countries and regions where Japan’s military committed war crimes.

- We are appreciative of how much the Emperor and Empress demonstrated a commitment to peace and history issues, including their paying tribute to the Korean victims’ monument in Saipan, and their visits to China and Okinawa.

- We would like to appeal for their continued efforts to help bring healing and justice to the victims of the Asia-Pacific War, and for their support of the endeavours to keep Article 9 intact in the spirit of peace.

Satoko Norimatsu
Peace Philosophy Centre

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