Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Dose of Nizar Jamaluddin Snake Oil

What Death Railway compensation and to the tune of a whopping 207 billion ringgit is
Nizar Jamaluddin talking about?

The Bukit Gantang member of parliament must really be the next best snake oil salesman, the best being Anwar Ibrhim, in confusing Takaharu Suegami at the Japanese embassy to consult Tokyo to get further details, buying his story of "documents proving that the RM207 billion from Tokyo was received". So his party organ reports.

This prompted the Japanese embassy "In a short email to Jejak clarifying the report, the embassy said it was not aware of any other compensation paid to Malaysia other than the 1967 agreement between Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur", also in Harakah "Embassy clarifies report on 'Death Railway' compensation"

It is more confounding when on-line portals like Free Malaysia Today choose to chase Nizar's tall tale in it's report today, "Death Railway: Ships or billions?"

What are the facts?

Japan had signed a peace treaty with Allied Countries called the San Francisco Peace Treaty on 8 September 1951.

Library of Congress documents, in examining cases and recourse for compensation or reperation from the Japanese government, and makes extensive reference to this treaty.

VIII. What Was Taken From or Paid By Japan, B. Compensation Specified in the Peace Treaty cites 1. Article 14(a)1 of the treaty and notes "Japan had agreements with Burma, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam under this provision".

Of relevance is Burma, being the country subject of the Death Railway, the document in citing the source quotes, "The Union of Burma shall not present any claim based on the provisions of Article V, paragraph 1(a)(III) of the Treaty of Peace between Japan and the Union of Burma signed at Rangoon on November 5, 1954, after the date of coming into force of the Agreement between Japan and the Union of Burma on Economic and Technical Co-operation."

What it meant was Burma, now Myanmar, would make no further claims from Japan.

C. Quasi-Reparations in the Form of Gratuitous Economic Aid and Credit further adresses compensation thus, "In the same way that Japan agreed to supplement its formal reparations under the San Francisco Peace Treaty (as explained above), Japan and several Asian countries negotiated gratuitous economic aid and/or credit. Some renounced their claims to formal reparations, and others were not parties to the San Francisco Peace Treaty. As these were “provided in the spirit of reparations, they were called ‘quasi-reparations’ in Japan." My emphasis is added.

In the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, under Major Bilateral Agreements and Arrangements, you will find - Agreement on Quasi-Reparation (Signed on 21 September, 1967).

In this Agreement of 21st September, 1967, Between Japan and Malaysia, Article II states, "The Government of Malaysia agrees that all questions arising out of the unhappy events during the Second World War which may effect the existing good relations between the two countries are hereby fully and finally settled." My emphasis is also added here.

The quantum of compensation is clearly stated as (then) Malaysian dollars 25,000,000.

The Library of Congress citation of WWII POW AND FORCED LABOR COMPENSATION CASES also provides the many sums Japan paid to various countries but it is nowhere near what Nizar attempts to claim, pun intended.

Be that as it may, WWII POW AND FORCED LABOR COMPENSATION CASES has the following conclusion,
"The Japanese Supreme Court has denied compensation for individuals because the relevant treaties settled individuals’ claims. Reparation and compensation for the damages caused by WWII were settled by the San Francisco Peace Treaty and other bilateral treaties."
That conclusion is supported in the San Francisco Peace Treaty by Article 14 (b)
Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the Allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied Powers, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nationals arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war, and claims of the Allied Powers for direct military costs of occupation.
If you think that Tokyo has any other reperation other than what was agreed upon in the Agreement of 21st September, 1967, Between Japan and Malaysia, as what Nizar now wants you to believe, then you too would be buying the snake oil that the Bukit Gantang member of parliament is pedalling.

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