Sir Peter Parker KBE LVO - Patron of Agape
Some of us just sit there -the sun rises on our awareness that something
should be done, and it sets on the sad fact that nothing much has
changed. That cycle of stalling, of self-limitation can go on for
a very long time. But then, praise be, somebody happens, there is
a spark and the engine starts and we are away. So Agape has come
to pass and I salute all those who now give it their commitment
Of course, that somebody, that spark has been Keiko Holmes -she
never just sits there. The long and atrocious memories of war cannot
be forgotten but we learn that reconciliation is the final victory.
Forgiveness is all. "Mutual Forgiveness of each vice, such are the
gates of Paradise", as William Blake wrote. Keiko Holmesˇinspired
work has been teaching us that in the last decade of the last turbulent
century, new life has sprung from the graves of Kiwa-cho.
Japanese people and the British Far East fomer POWs are now witnesses
to the practical impact of the Agape pilgrimages in the 90's, both
to Japan and Britain. Burdens of the past have been eased and widening
circles of friendship and understanding created.
It is a great thing that both Japan and the UK have honoured Keiko's
efforts. Of course, Agape's resources are far too small. Our concern
now is that the great start of Agape should be sustained to match
its future aims.
Sadayuki Hayashi - Japanese Ambassador to London
The moving recollections in this brochure bear testimony to the
inspiring work of Mrs Keiko Holmes. With great sensitivity, Mrs
Holmes has worked tirelessly to advance the difficult but vital
work of reconciliation.
This brochure recognises the fortitude of the former prisoners
of war and civilian internees who, despite the suffering that they
endured, have contributed to a greater understanding between the
British and Japanese people. Their contribution is a good example
for all of us to remember the past and to strive for a better tomorrow.
|Sir David Wright-former British Ambassador to Japan
I have known Keiko Holmes for many years. She has worked tirelessly
in pursuit of reconciliation between former British prisoners of war
and Japan. It is in recognition of her work that Her Majesty the Queen
has bestowed on her an honorary OBE. She organises regular visits
between Britain and Japan for former prisoners of war, their relatives
and school children. Her work of reconciliation is admired and respected
by many. Those who come from Britain cannot forget the sadness of
the past, but they are helping to build new friendships and relationships
for the future. I wish Keiko Holmes and those who work with her every
||Hiroaki Fujii - President of The Japan Foundation
I first met Mrs Keiko Holmes on a hot summer's day in 1994 at the
Japanese festival in London. I was instantly moved by what she was
doing to pursue reconciliation between two peoples. Since that time
I have been watching over her activities. She has been doing what
the government officials cannot do. Today, the United Kingdom and
Japan are bound by a multitude of ties and there is a bright prospect
for future friendship between our two peoples. It is all the more
necessary not to forget the past.
||Bonnie Williams -President of Waterbridge International
While there are numerous successful Japanese/British partnerships
in the business world, under the surface questions about the war,
and the treatment of the POWs in particular, do fester. Occasionally
we meet British employees at Japanese firms, who have had to lie to
their families about working for the Japanese, because they have a
grandfather or uncle who was a POW who still today refuses to buy
any Japanese products. Only human contact between former enemies can
lead to reconciliation; Agape's work is critical in this process.
Time has not healed many of these wounds, but Agape has made great
strides here - all power to Agape!
||Canon Andrew White - Director of the International Centre for
Reconciliation, Coventry Cathedral
The work of Agape headed up by Mrs Keiko Holmes is probably the most
significant reconciliation ministry between the UK and Japan. Her
tireless efforts to bring healing to the deep wounds of the past history
of our two countries have given hope to many former FEPOWs. In the
latter years of their life they have found that forgiveness has resulted
in liberation. All those whom Keiko takes to Japan are profoundly
influenced by their experience. For some it has meant that their faith
in both God and humanity is restored for the first time. We at the
International Centre for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral count
it a great joy and privilege to have been able to witness and share
in the most amazing reconciling work of Agape.
||Roger Mitchell - Writer
Keiko Holmes is a gifted reconciler with the God-given ability to
disarm the most defensive and aggressive victims of the extremes of
war. As a practitioner and writer dealing with the consequences of
our British colonial heritage, I recognise the grace and integrity
of this remarkable woman and the quality of the reconciliation work
that she and her team initiate.
||Rev. Colin Dye - Senior Minister, Kensington Temple/London City
Agape, led by Keiko Holmes, is being used mightily to bring peace
and reconciliation in both Japan and the United Kingdom. I am delighted
to have Agape as part of the London City Church network and wish Keiko
and the team continued joy and blessing in all that they do.
||Rev. Nicky Gumbel - Author & Alpha Course Leader
Keiko Holmes is a remarkable woman who has devoted her life to the
work of reconciliation. Agape is building bridges over one of the
bitterest legacies of the Second World War.
||Professor Kazuaki Saito -Meisei Gakuen Chair, Board of Trustees
I am grateful for the work of Agape. The efforts of Agape and its
supporters have brought a great work of reconciliation between Japan
and Britain. As a representative of Japan may your work develop far
and wide for many years to come.
||Mitsuo Sasaki - Lawyer
It is amazing that the single-handed work of Agape by Keiko Holmes
is now getting a good response from the world. God's (Agape) love
moved a woman and through Him, the woman, Keiko, has moved people's
hearts. May the love of God over-flow into Agape and Agape supporters.
Mieka Anne Sano Loh - President of Filmic Vineyard, Inc.
The reconciliation work of Agape is universal. It helped me in dealing
with my past as a Chinese living in Japan - to accept the things
that have happened, and close the door behind me to move on. I wish
Agape continued success.
Nobuetsu Okita - Historian
I salute Agape for its efforts at grass-roots level towards the
work of reconciliation. I trust that this work will reach FEPOWs
in other countries too.
Christian Tyler - a senior staff writer on the Financial Times
A recent visit to the Thai-Burma railway convinced me that there
are people on both sides who need to come to terms with what happened
there before they die. The victims need to have their suffering
acknowledged, the perpetrators to admit what they did. This is unfinished
business. Silence is no solution, and soon it will be too late.