By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, August 21, 1993:
DAP calls on the new Japanese Government to reconsider and make proper wartime compensation to war victims, including Japanese Imperialist Army ‘sex slaves’ to effect a historic reconciliation with the peoples in the countries which had been victims of its war of aggression
The statement by Japan’s Foreign Minister, Tsutomu Hata that although Japan intended to apologise to Asian people who suffered during World War II it considered the issue of compensation already settles is a major setback in the historic reconciliation between Japan and the peoples in countries which had been victims of its war of aggression.
Hata said that Japanese Prime Minister, Morohiro Hosokawa would not make any reference to compensation in his policy speech to be delivered in Japanese Diet on Monday as he “will not touch on anything already settled in the San Francisco Peace Treaty or in bilateral treaties.”
DAP calls on the Japanese Government to reconsider its position and to make proper compensation to war victims, including Japanese Imperialist Army ‘sex slaves’, to effect and complete a historic reconciliation with the peoples in countries which had been victims of its war of aggression.
Otherwise, the Japanese Government’s apology to Asian people who suffered during World War II would sound quite hollow and the historic memories which haunt Japan’s relationship with Asian countries in the past five decades would remain an open sore in the 21st century. It will also raise questions about the legitimacy of Japan in playing a leading international role in world affairs, commensurate with its economic position – as getting a permanent seat on a reformed United Nations Security Council.
The Japanese Government must take the important distinction that reparations to countries must be treated separately from claims by individual war victims of the Japanese war of aggression in the Second World War, for which there must be a separate compensation.
The new Japanese Prime Minister and the seven-party coalition should give serious head to the warning by the Japanese liberal daily, Manichi : “ Now that the government is on record s having shown repentance for the war, it must prove its sincerity by deads. Proper wartime compensation is essential if Japan seeks genuine friendship with the people of the world, especially Asia.”
Morihiro Hosokawa should not abandon his proposal for a “Asia-Pacific Fund” worth between one trillion and two trillion yen (RM25.8 million to RM51.6 billion) to compensate Japanese wartime victims as such a historic reconciliation with the Asian people for the Japanese wartime crimes is the only way for Japan to exorcise its past war of aggression and catalogue of atrocities against Asian people.