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Japan has Given as Much as $800 million to the Philippines for Reparation

Japan has Given as Much as $800 million to the Philippines for Reparation

Posted February. 25, 2005 23:00,   


It was revealed that Japan accepted the Philippine delegation’s demand for $800 million as compensation for Second World War atrocities. The sum was demanded during Japan’s negotiations with five Asian countries affected by the Second World War and was established without the Philippine delegation’s consultation with its government.

According to February 25th reports by the Asahi Shimbun and other Japanese media outlets, Japanese Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama wholly complied with the Filipino delegation chief’s request of $800 million ($550 million for grant-type compensation and $250 million for a commercial loan) in May 1955. The amount of money was calculated without the Filipino government’s influence. Part of the reports were barrowed from documents from Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry that were declassified the day before the reports by the Japanese media were released.

Although at the time of the deal Japan had been extending the negotiation process for years, insisting, “The compensation limit rests at $500 million,” the Japanese government agreed to the Filipino request. A year after the agreement, the Philippines and Japan officially signed the documents relating to the financial agreement. In 1962, seven years after Japan and the Philippines reached their agreement, South Korea and Japan agreed on a financial package consisting of $300 million for a grant, $200 million for the Japanese government’s loan and more than $100 million for a commercial loan.

The Japanese media speculated that Japan accepted the Filipino demand at the time - the highest demand among five Asian nations - without objection because the shattered Japanese economy needed the Philippines in order to make inroads into the Southeast Asian market.

On Dec. 8, 1941, the Japanese forces bombed the Philippines, which were under American control, at the same time as the Pearl Harbor Attack was taking place. On December 23, Japan started landing operations. In May 1942, after several battles, the Japanese troops gained a complete control over the Philippines and ruled the country until the end of the Second World War.

Further, it was discovered that Japan paid the Netherlands, Indonesia’s colonizer, ₤3,630,000 (approximately $10 million) for the release of 217 prisoners of war (POWs). The prisoners were accused of abuse against POWs in Indonesia. The confidential documents containing the above content were exchanged by Japan and the Netherlands in March 1956. By August 1956, the last POW was freed. The agreement between the Netherlands and Japan was kept secret because the Netherlands was afraid that the fact that it had been paid to set the POWs free might be known.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com