THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS DECLARES WAR WITH JAPAN
[Inter-Allied Review, December 15, 1941.]
On December 8th, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands issued the following proclamation:
The Kingdom of the Netherlands considers itself in a state of war with Japan.
While negotiations which were in progress between the governments of the United States and Japan were not yet completed, and while President Roosevelt exhibited the greatest patience and did his utmost to preserve peace in the Pacific, and while an appeal which President Roosevelt had sent to the Emperor of Japan still remained unanswered, Japanese forces attacked American and British territory without a declaration of war.
Thus war has been forced on the United States and the British Empire. You know how Germany, in the same manner that Japan now emulates in Asia, attacked many countries in Europe, one after another. Japan, motivated by the same spirit of aggression and the same disregard of law, follows in the footsteps of her German Axis partner.
Neither the safety of the territories of our Kingdom in the Far East, nor the Ties which bind us to our British Allies, nor the special relations which exist between the Netherlands and the United States allow the Government of the Kingdom to look on passively.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands considers itself in a state of war with Japan because the aggression-which seeks to put out of action, one by one, the countries which desire peace-can only be halted through a strong coalition.
Now that the American and British peoples, with whom we are closely bound in friendship, are attacked, the Kingdom of the Netherlands places all its armed forces and resources at the disposal of the allied war effort.
The development of our Kingdom for centuries has been guided by a unified destiny. In the hurricane which threatens this development, it rises with resolute unity to maintain its place in the world. The Netherlands did not hesitate to defend herself immediately, with courage, when she was viciously attacked in Europe. The Netherlands East Indies will not waver now that she is menaced by a similar attack.
The Indies stood with the Netherlands in her hour of trial. The Netherlands and our West Indies will stand with the East Indies now that the Indies are resisting aggression. I rely on the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, the authorities and the civilian services.
I and all my subjects rely on the courage, resolution and determination of all those in the Indies. Trusting in God, whom all my subjects desire to serve in freedom and who know that our cause is righteous and our conscience clear, we accept the challenge together with our powerful allies.
We will triumph and our Kingdom, beset but at the same time purified, steeled and standing with inviolable pride will survive stronger than ever to live under our free banner in a world free from aggression.
In the Indies, Governor General Van Starkenborgh Stachouwer made the following declaration by radio to the population of the Netherlands East Indies:
People of the Netherlands East Indies: In its unexpected attack on American and British territories while diplomatic negotiations were still in progress, the Japanese empire has consciously adopted a course of aggression. These attacks, which have thrown the United States of America and the British empire into active war on the side of already-fighting China, have as their object the establishment of Japanese supremacy in the whole of east and southeast Asia. These aggressions also menace the Netherlands East Indies in no small measure. The Netherlands government accepts the challenge and takes up arms against the Japanese empire.