SOO Foundation

More than seven decades have passed since the end of the Asia-Pacific War. People who remember the war and long for peace are becoming fewer, and young people—especially those whose grandparents are born in the postwar era—rarely inherit memories of the war. Is the war memory bound to fade away? 

It is known that Japan and its distant European counterpart—the Netherlands—share a history of friendship for over 400 years. However, not many people know that these two countries were enemies during the Pacific War. And very few are aware of the fact that numerous Japanese descendants born of war currently reside in the Netherlands. 

Foundation for War Victims in the East: Japanese Archives and Contacts (SOO) is a non-profit organization established on 18 April 2012 in the Netherlands mainly by Japanese residents who aim to promote post-war reconciliation as members of civil society. 

In Japan, Japan’s occupation of the Netherlands East Indies is one of the major academic fields within Southeast Asian studies. Also, there are numerous memoirs and personal notes that were published by former military personnel, military civilians and so forth. Most of these academic and non-academic works were not accessible for non-Japanese speakers as they are written in Japanese. 

For this reason, SOO initiated (1) a project that translated into English bibliographic information of Japanese works regarding Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies and (2) created a database of Japanese POW card (furyo meimeihyō) of RNIA (Royal Netherlands Indies Army) /Netherlands Navy and provides information on the civilian internees in Japanese camps during the war. SOO is engaged in (3) the search for biological fathers of children born of Indisch mothers fathered by Japanese during and after the war. In addition to various research projects, SOO holds workshops and academic symposiums, cooperates with museum exhibitions, publishes newsletters and provides translation services. SOO aims to contribute to the development of friendship and mutual understanding among Japan, the Netherlands and Indonesia. 

     Representative Director: Dr. Kaori Maekawa

     Board Members:
Kaoru Uchiyama 
Erik Broekroelofs (Treasury)
Yoko Huijs-Watanuki 
Dr. Aya Ezawa
Secretary: Miyuki Okuyama 
Tokyo office: Toshiko Takano (Former director of Philippine Nikkei-jin Legal Support Center)

Lawyer in cooperation: Hiroyuki Kawai (Attorney at Sakura Kyodo Law Offices)