B.C. Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) was established in January 1997. The three chapters of ALPHA in BC, Toronto and Calgary joined force to form Canada ALPHA In June 1997. Ottawa ALPHA, Edmonton ALPHA and Halifax ALPHA were also established in 1999, 2008 & 2009 respectively. They are all parts of Canada ALPHA.
Through the dedication of volunteers and supporters, B.C. ALPHA has come a long way in promoting the awareness of the crimes against humanity committed during WWII in Asia through various educational initiatives. Since its establishment, B.C. ALPHA cooperates with different ethnic and community organizations in this educational aspect. In 2000, B.C. ALPHA began working with B.C. Ministry of Education and Canadian educators in an attempt to integrate this important, but seldom known chapter of history and human rights lesson into the provincial secondary school curriculum. B.C. ALPHA also supports just and honorable redress for victims of the Asian Holocaust. Our program and project funding come entirely from individual donors and charity foundations.
The mission of BC ALPHA is to foster understanding, redress and reconciliation related to the tragedies of WW II in Asia. In co-operation with other ethnic groups including Canadians of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Dutch and Jewish descent, we organize and participate in projects and events that facilitate the public to learn lessons of humanity from the war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed during the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945). We also support the long-over due redress for victims of the Asian Holocaust. The ultimate aim of ALPHA is to work for peace and justice. We agree with Harvard philosopher George Santayana's belief: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
a. to promote peace, justice, fundamental human rights and freedoms, multiculturalism and racial harmony;
b. to facilitate the Canadian society to learn lessons of humanity from the war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed during World War II in Asia;
c. to foster and support the teaching within the Canadian education system of the atrocities and human rights violations that occurred during World War II in Asia and to learn lessons of humanity from this dark chapter of history.
For better understanding of ALPHA's mission, some of our works are highlighted below.
February 22, 1997 - A multicultural seminar "Crying for Justice" was organized to seek reconciliation and understanding among different ethnics who were victimized by the Japanese military in the period before and during WW II. Representatives from the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Dutch and Jewish communities took part to soothe this unhealed wound of history.
March 20-21, 1997 Representatives from ALPHA joined the Canadian delegation to visit Washington DC. This delegation was organized by the Canadian Jewish Congress to participate in the program for International Day of Anti-Racism in Washington DC. Discussion was held with Special Investigation Unit of the US Justice Department concerning the watch-list of Japanese war criminals.
March 22, 1997 Participated in the "Forum on Building Bridges" organized by the National Association of Japanese Canadian (NAJC). ALPHA’s representative was invited to speak about the atrocities committed by the Japanese military and the long overdue redress for its victims.
May- August 1997 A Support Letter Campaign was jointly organized by Canada ALPHA, the Human Rights Committee of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, the Korean Women's Association of Western Canada, the August 15, 1945 Foundation (Dutch), the Philippine War Veterans & Ex-Servicemen Society of B.C. and the Canadian Jewish Congress. The campaign was to support a Japanese professor, Sabaro Ienega who for 30 years had been suing the Japanese government of distorting and concealing historical facts in his history textbooks. More than 10,000 support letters were collected across Canada and sent to the Japanese government. Ienaga had a partial victory, the Japanese supreme court ruled that the censoring of the facts of Unit 731 in the history textbook of Professor Ienega by the Japanese Ministry of Education was illegal.
August 2, 1997 Together with the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association Human Rights Committee, the two organizations jointly presented an open forum on "The Asian Holocaust" in the Vancouver Japanese Festival (Powell Street Festival).
October 3, 1997 Together with four other ethnic organizations (the Human Rights Committee of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, the Korean Women's Association of Western Canada, the August 15, 1945 Foundation (Dutch), and the Philippine War Veterans & Ex-Servicemen Society of B.C.), a joint presentation on the importance of learning lessons of humanity from WW II in Asia was made to educators attending the Anti-Racism Workshop organized by the B.C. Teachers Federation. Resources materials on the subject were also introduced.
December 8-10, 1997 A book reading/signing session was held in the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch for Iris Chang’s new book, The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust of WW II. The book had made various bestseller lists including New York Times for 5 months.
December 12-13, 1997 In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre and to promote the message of reconciliation, a multimedia show "Unhealed Wound of History" was successfully presented with the help and support of over a hundred local artists and celebrities from Greater Vancouver. More than 1300 audience attended this event.
April 10, 1998 A proposal on the incorporation of humanity aspects of WW II in Asia into the social studies curriculum was made at the "Beyond Multiculturalism" workshop organized by the National Association of Asia-Pacific American Education and the National Association of Asia-Pacific Canadian Education. The presentation was in cooperation with the National Association of Japanese Canadians Human Rights Committee,
July 3 - 9, 1998 "A Glimpse of Reconciliation - Confession of a Unit 731 Soldier & Photo Exhibition on Japan's Germ Warfare in WW II" was organized. The event was co-organized by the Human Rights Committee of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, and sponsored by the Korean Women's Association of Western Canada, the August 15, 1945 Foundation (Dutch), the Philippine War Veterans & Ex-Servicemen Society of B.C. and the Canadian Jewish Congress (Pacific Region). A total of 14 delegates from Japan including lawyers, medical doctors, scholars, a former Japanese Imperial Army medical doctor, a representative of the Unit 731 victims, and member of the Unit 731 and Poison Gas Exhibition in Japan. All these delegates were active supporters of the Unit 731 victims’ redress lawsuit in Tokyo. They attended the Opening & Witnessing Forum of the event on July 4. The exhibits showed nature of the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during and before WW II, the extent of Japanese invasion, the background for the rise of Japanese Militarism and the ongoing denials of history by revisionists in Japan. Visitors who viewed the exhibits with their hearts could feel the pains, sorrows and injustice suffered by the victims. The exhibits were grouped under 5 sections, namely: "Germ Warfare Squad Unit 731"; "Military Sexual Slavery"; "Nanking Massacre"; "Pacific War in Stamps" and "Japanese Militarism Now and Then".
October 16 - 18, 1998 B.C. ALPHA assisted in the organizing of the 3rd Biennial Conference of Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia held in Toronto. The theme of the conference was Humanity Education and International Justice. It was attended by more than 100 delegates and speakers of different ethnic background from all over the world.
December 1998 - January 1999 Canada ALPHA, Human Rights Committee of Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, and Canadian Jewish Congress (Pacific Region) launched the Signature Campaign for War Crime Victims in Support of Their Just Request for Compensation from the Japanese Government. The group of Japanese lawyers, representing the victims of Nanking Massacre, Unit 731 (Germ Warfare Squad) and Indiscriminate Bombing in their compensation lawsuit against the Japanese government, had been seeking for international support. Demonstration of international concern to such war crime compensation lawsuits would give pressure on Japan to face its responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese military before and during World War II. In six weeks’ time, over 3000 signatures were collected in B.C. The chief counsel of the lawsuit presented these signatures to the court.
January 1999 B.C. ALPHA supported “Perspectives” & “U-Voice” (bilingual student newspapers of University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University respectively) to organize photo exhibition and survivor’s testimony regarding Asian Holocaust in their university campus. The events were well attended.
March 1999 Canada ALPHA assisted and supported student organizations of Queen’s University and McGill University to organize photo exhibitions on Asian Holocaust from 8 - 11 March and from 29 - 30 March respectively. The response was encouraging, some professors of social and political sciences would consider include this topic into their curricula.
March 16 - 22, 1999 B.C. ALPHA supported the Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association in conjunction with other members of the Committee for March 21st to organize a photo exhibition on “Inhumanity: When Intolerance Runs Rampant” at Memorial University, St. John. The three sets of exhibits supplied by ALPHA were:
• the “Rape of Nanking” - the invasion and destruction of Nanking city and its populace by the Japanese Imperialist Army
• Unit 731, the “medical experimentation unit” of the Japanese Imperial Army who used living human beings as guinea pigs in their medical experiments. Unit 731 also developed biological & chemical warfare weapons.
• “comfort women” - the plight of women captured from occupied territory by the Japanese Imperial Army and forced to endure horrendous sexual abuse as sex slaves for the Japanese military.
It had approximately 1100 visitors in 4 days. In a number of instances professors returned with their class. Many visitors remarked that they previously had no idea of the extent of the horrors suffered by the victims of the Japanese Imperial Army. There were many responses to this event, and they were strong. The overall reaction, however, was one of interest and support for what the organizer was attempting to do. It was successful in attracting a lot of media attention, a lot of visitors and, in the larger sense, was successful in achieving the aim of this event: Educate the public on the dangers of intolerance, racism and hatred.
March 19, 1999 "A Glimpse of Reconciliation - Confession of a Unit 731 Soldier & Photo Exhibition on Japan's Germ Warfare in WW II", the joint project by B.C. ALPHA and the JCCA Human Rights Committee received the 1999 End Racism Award from the BC Ministry of Multiculturalism.. On behalf of organizations supporting the project, Ms. Thekla Lit, President of BC ALPHA remarked at the End Racism Awards giving ceremony "... an educational and humanity approach is important in the process to heal wounds of history and to seek reconciliation. This approach is particularly meaningful in the light that the Japanese government has been reluctant to apologize and accept responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed by its Imperial Army."
April - November 1999 Canada ALPHA launched a Campaign to Support the Recognition of Crime Against Humanity Act. Mr. Sarkis Assadourain, M.P., (Liberal Party, Brampton Centre) first introduced Bill C-479 in the House of Common during the 1st Session of the 36th Parliament. (The number of Bill was later changed to C-224 because the House prorogued and began a new session.) This Act was cited as the Recognition of Crimes Against Humanity Act. The purpose of the Bill was to mandate the establishment of an exhibit in the Canadian Museum of Civilization to recognize the crimes against humanity, as defined by the United Nations, that was perpetrated during the twentieth century. Canada ALPHA was in full support of this Bill and strongly believed that the proposed humanity education exhibit should include "Exhibits on the systematic and organized atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese military machine throughout Asia before and during WW II." 100,000 printed postcards as well as electronic postcards were sent by the general public to Members of the Canadian Parliament to petition their support for this Bill. The postcards were historical photos of the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during 1931-1945. On November 30, 1999 there was an unanimous consent of the House of Common to refer the subject matter of Bill C-224, the Recognition of Crimes Against Humanity Act, to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for review and report no later than June 15, 2000.
December 10 –12, 1999 The International Citizens' Forum (ICF) on War Crimes and Redress – Seeking Reconciliation and Peace for the 21st Century, held in Tokyo on December 10-12, 1999, was organized under the initiative of the Japan Organizing Committee (JOC). The Committee represented many groups of Japanese attorneys, scholars, doctors, and activists who are in support of victims’ redress movement in Japan. Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (GA) joined the JOC initiative as the Forum’s co-organizer. Other supporting organizations to this landmark Forum included World Jewish Congress, Canadian Jewish Congress, and Teachers’ Federations from Hong Kong and Taiwan. President of B.C. ALPHA was appointed to represent GA to formulate and organize ICF together with JOC. There were some 80 delegates from the United States, Canada, Germany, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China, and an attendance of over 1,000 Japanese citizens at this three-day event. International support and concern of the redress movement for victims of Japanese atrocities as expressed in ICF was enormous. It brought great encouragement to the Japanese groups who have been fighting hard against deniers of the atrocities and ultra-nationalists in Japan. ICF also provided an important opportunity for scholars, lawyers and activists who supported the redress movement to network with and support each other. ICF was concluded with the adoption of the "Tokyo Appeal" which called upon the Japanese government to accept wartime responsibility, and to offer unequivocal official apology and meaningful compensations to its victims. (For more details of ICF, please go to B.C. ALPHA’s website.)
December 10, 1999 The Newfoundland-Labrador Human Rights Association (NLHRA) hosted the “Human Rights Fair" at St. John's City Hall on December 10th, 1999 (International Human Rights Day). There were over thirty participating organizations and well over 500 visitors. With the support of B.C. ALPHA, NLHRA displayed the exhibit on Pacific War in Stamps and Japanese Atrocities. The exhibition panels supplied by ALPHA were well received.
January 15 – 28, 2000 B.C. ALPHA sponsored “In Light of the Truth – Photo Exhibition & Open Forum”. This was a 2-week event organized by Perspectives and UVoice (bilingual student newspapers of UBC and SFU). The event was kicked off on January 15 with video documentary screening on “The Rape of Nanking” followed by an Open Forum at Fletcher Challenge Theatre, SFU Harbour Center. “The Rape of Nanking” was produced in 1999 for History Channel by Mr. Lou Reda who was an American documentary producer and had made a number of award-winning documentaries. Speakers of the Open Forum were: John Price - History Professor of the University of Victoria, Tatsuo Kage - Member of Human Rights Committee of Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association and Thekla Lit - Co-chair of Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) & President of B.C. ALPHA. Gabriel Yiu, current affairs commentator and regular contributor to Vancouver Sun was the moderator. The objective of this event was to “promote humanity, justice and racial harmony”. Through facilitating the public to learn and reflect on the humanity aspects of WW II in Asia, it was hope that atrocious chapters of history would not be repeated, and that there would be no more denial of war crime responsibility among mankind.
February 14 - 18, 2000 Canada ALPHA supported The Empress, (bilingual newspaper of Queen’s University) to organize an on campus photo exhibition on Unit 731 – Biological and Germ Warfare of Japan. The event was well attended and supported by other ethnic student groups of the University.
February 2000 B.C. Ministry of Education invited B.C. ALPHA to work in partnership to develop a learning resource dealing with humanity and justice in the context of World War II in Asia together with teachers recommended by BC Teachers’ Federation. The learning resource would address the Prescribed Learning Outcomes contained in the Social Studies 11 curriculum and it would be distributed to all secondary schools in British Columbia.
May 22 - 26, 2000 Canada ALPHA supported the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts (JES) to organize a photo exhibition in the Hague during the period of the Japanese Emperor’s state visit to Holland. JES is a Dutch organization working on the redress for survivors of the Japanese atrocities committed in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) during World War II. The exhibition panels were on loan from B.C. ALPHA and the purpose of the exhibition is to educate people about humanity and justice in regard to Nanking Massacre, Unit 731 – Biological and Germ Warfare of Japan, Japanese Military Sexual Slavery and the Pacific War. Co-chair of Canada ALPHA together with President of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia were invited by JES to attend the press conference held on May 22 in the Hague to show support to the redress for the Dutch victims and to report to the media about the recent development of the redress work worldwide. The exhibition have since been displayed in other cities of the Netherlands until now.
June 8, 2000 Canada ALPHA was invited to attend the hearing session of the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee at Ottawa in pursuant to the Order of Reference of the House of Common of November 30, 1999 to study the subject-matter of Bill C-224 (previously called Bill C-479), an Act to establish at the beginning of the Twenty-first century an exhibit in the Canadian Museum of Civilization to recognize crimes against humanity perpetrated during the twentieth century. Besides ALPHA representative, the hearing included other 6 witnesses representing Ukrainian, Armenian, Rwandans, Muslim and Arab ethnic community organizations. President of B.C. chapter representing ALPHA shared the reflection on this subject-matter and expressed strong support for the proposed exhibit which should include crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese imperial forces before and during WW II in Asia.
August 15, 2000 Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh, the Premier of British Columbia proclaimed this day as “Day of Peace in the Pacific” in a celebration ceremony organized by B.C. ALPHA. The ceremony was jointly officiated by Ms. Sue Hammell, B.C Minister of Multiculturism & Immigration and Ms. Jenny Kwan, Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives & Volunteers. Representatives from different ethnic communities and WWII veterans organizations participated in lighting the “Candle of Hope for Peace”. They included:-
• Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada, Pacific Unit 280
• Burma Star Association
• Canadian Hong Kong Veterans Association of B.C.
• Chinese Veterans Association in Victoria
• Chinese Military Museum
• Philippines War Veterans & Servicemen Society of B.C.
• August 15, 1945 Foundation (Dutch)
• Canadian Jewish Congress
• Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, Human Rights Committee
• Korean Women's Association of Western Canada
• Rwanda Association of B.C.
• Vancouver Forum Against Human Rights Violation in Indonesia
November 4, 2000 B.C. ALPHA co-presented the screening of the history documentary “Nanjing Nightmares” at the 4th annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival. The documentary told the disturbing story of Japanese invasion of Nanjing in 1937 and followed the history of the Wang family now residing in Calgary. This family was forever scarred by this dark episode in history. The documentary was directed by a Chinese Canadian director, Guo Fangfang and filmed in Canada and China.
November 10 – 12, 2000 B.C. ALPHA assisted in the organizing of the 4th Biennial Conference of Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia held in Washington, DC. It was attended by more than 70 delegates and speakers of different ethnic origins coming from all over the world.
November 18, 2000 Representative of B.C. ALPHA made a presentation at the workshop “From Racism to Justice and Global Citizenship” of ERA 21. End Racism! Activism for the 21st Century (ERA 21) was a 3-day international forum held in Vancouver to sharpen the tools for anti-racism practice in the 21st century. B.C. ALPHA shared its belief that anti-racism and humanity education in schools needs to include lessons from tragic events against humanity that happened in Asia during the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945).
December 8 – 12, 2000 Representative of B.C. ALPHA attended the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo, Japan (http://www.jca.apc.org/vaww-net-japan/en/Dec2000/tribunal.html ). The objective of the Tribunal is to restore justice, human rights and dignity to all the victimized women and to end the cycle of impunity for violence against women in wartime and armed conflict situations. One of the Chief Prosecutors of the Tribunal was Patricia Viseur-Sellers (Legal Adviser, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and until recently the Rwanda Tribunal). Judges of the Tribunal included Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (Former President of the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal) and Carmen Maria Argibay (President of the International Association of Women Judges). There were testimonies by expert witnesses and survivors.
January – March 2001 B.C. ALPHA was one of the organizers for the worldwide Nomination of Professor Saburo IENEGA for the 2001 Nobel Peace Price(http://www.vcn.bc.ca/alpha/ienega/letter.htm). For 35 years, this distinguished historian and educator challenged the Japanese government in court on their censorship of history textbooks authored by him. The wars of invasion and atrocities committed by the Japanese soldiers and government during the Asia-Pacific War and earlier have been documented by research. Yet, the authorities have censored history textbooks by deleting or whitewashing references to these invasions and atrocities. Professor Ienaga has dedicated his life to the mission that Japanese young people are able to learn the truth about their own country's recent history and to learn lessons of humanity from it. He has fought for the rights of scholars, particularly those who author textbooks, to honestly record truths about the period they are describing. 251 distinguished professors of history, law, philosophy and political science, and also 19 members of national parliaments nominated Prof Ienaga. Amongst them were Canadian MPs from different political parties, namely Hon. David Anderson, Ms. Libby Davies, Mr. Stan Dromisky, Mr. Derek Lee, Mrs. Sophia Leung, Mr. Stephen Owen, Mr. Joe Peschisolido, and Mr. Svend Robinson. On March 7, 2001, a press conference was organized by B.C. ALPHA to report on this worldwide nomination of Professor Ienaga in Canada. The speakers present were as follows:-
• The Honourable David Anderson (Lib.), P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment
• Ms. Libby Davies (NDP), M.P.
• Mrs. Sophia Leung (Lib.), C.M., M.P.
• Mr. Joe Peschisolido (CA), M.P.
• Professor John Price, Department of History, University of Victoria
• Mr. Marius Van Nooten, Survivor of child slave labour during the Asia-Pacific War
• Ms. Sherry Tanaka, Member of Human Rights Committee, Japanese Canadian Citizen’s Association
• Mr. Kelly Ip, Director of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. & Past President of Canadian Club
March 10, 2001 Exhibition panels on Sexual Slavery of the Japanese Imperial Army were setup at the International Women’s Day Education Fair in Vancouver. The exhibits aim to educate the public about this chapter of history in the Asia-Pacific War and the importance of ending the cycle of impunity for violence against women in wartime and armed conflict situations.
April 11, 2001 The Launching of of the learning resource for Social Studies 11, History 12 and Law 12 “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” was held at Templeton Secondary School. Ms. Joy MacPhail, Minister of Education; Ms. Jenny Kwan, Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives & Volunteers; a teacher representative of the writing team and the president of B.C. ALPHA introduced the learning resource. In February 2000, B.C. ALPHA was invited by B.C. Ministry of Education to work in partnership to develop this learning resource together with 2 historians (Prof. John Price, History Department of University of Victoria and Mr. Tatsuo Kage, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association Human Rights Committee) and teachers recommended by BC Teachers’ Federation. This resource aims to develop students to become responsible global citizens, with understanding of human dignity, human rights values, and see the world with compassion and sense of justice. It contains materials which help students to gain understanding of the human rights violations during the Asia-Pacific War. It also gives students the opportunities to critically reflect on the events and make reasoned judgments. It encourages them to apply the knowledge and skills learned to current issues that affect their lives and to make a better future for the world. It is believed that such kind of education is going to prevent the atrocities of the past from happening again. The learning resource would be distributed to every secondary school in B.C. in June 2001 and would have a French version available in the near future.
March – April, 2001 B.C. ALPHA coordinated the nomination of the three convenors of the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery (Ms. Yayori Matsui, Professor Yun Chung-Ok and Ms. Indai Lourdes Sajor) for the 2001 John Humphrey Freedom Award. Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) presents the John Humphrey Freedom Award each year to a non-governmental organization or an individual for exceptional achievement in the defense or promotion of human rights and/or democratic development. The Award consists of a grant of $25,000 as well as a speaking tour of Canadian cities to help increase awareness of the recipient’s human rights work. It is named in honour of the Canadian John Peters Humphrey, the human rights law professor who prepared the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Twenty-seven renowned human rights activists and scholars joined the nomination.
Sept 6 - 9, 2001 At the 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, BC ALPHA supported Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia. (GA) in creating a web site on “San Francisco Peace Treaty: An Unjust Treaty” (www.Gainfo.org ).
To protest against the celebration of 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty organized by the US-Japan 21st Century Project and The Japan Society of Northern California Representatives, a series of events organized were organized in San Francisco area by GA and its affiliate organizations. Representatives from BC ALPHA actively participated in these events together with an estimated 20,000 San Francisco. President of BC ALPHA convened workshop at the international conference "50 Years of Denial: Japan and it's Wartime Responsibilities” hosted by the University of California Berkeley Asian American Studies Department and organized by Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition (RNRC), an affiliate of GA.
October 4, 2001 BC ALPHA in cooperation with Rick Beardsley, social studies teacher and a writing team member of the learning resource “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” organized a workshop to introduce the resource to Richmond teachers on 4 October at Cambie Secondary School. In support of the workshop, the Richmond School District offered copies (up to 35) of the Resource for each school that has a representative at the workshop.
Oct 18, 2001 President of BC ALHPA was invited to speak on the learning resource “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” at Macalester College in Minnesota for students and faculties.
Oct 19 -21, 2001 Social Studies Provincial Conference was held in Nainamo, BC from Oct 19 - 20, 2001. A workshop on the learning resource “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” was held during the conference. BC ALPHA supported Graeme Stacey, social studies teacher and a writing team member of the learning resource to organize the workshop.
Oct 19 -21, 2001 President of BC ALHPA was invited to speak on the International Symposium on Asian Tragedies of World War IIsponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota on October 19-20, 2001. This Symposium aimed at introducing World War II in Asia and its postwar remembrance to the main stream audience and teachers of the Holocaust and genocide studies in the United States. The symposium also featured the “First U.S. Teachers' Institute on the History and Memory of East Asia in World War II”. The Institute geared for educators at all grade levels and aimed at providing new insights and tools for teaching the history of East Asia. President of BC ALHPA spoke on the learning resource “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship”
Dec 15 & 16, 2001 BC ALPHA actively supported the Hong Kong Coalition for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia in organizing the “Witnessing Forum on Japanese Atrocities in the Asia-Pacific War” on 15 & 16 December 2001 at the City University of Hong Kong. The co-organisers were Contemporary ChinaResearch Project, City University of Hong Kong, Asian Human Rights Commission and the Chinese History Education Society. GA was the sponsor. President of BC ALHPA introduced the learning resource “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” at the Education Workshop of the Forum. She also helped to arrange survivors and speakers of the Forum to share their experience at 9 secondary schools, they were very well received by over 2,500 student.
January 18, 2002 BC ALPHA supported the public seminar on “Comfort Women of World War II: Their Suffering Must Not Be Forgotten” sponsored by The Centre for Korean Research at the University of British Columbia on January 18, 2002 at the Asian Studies Center of UBC. The other supporters were the UBC Program in Women's Studies and the Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network.
The 3 speakers were Sylvia Yu, a Korean Canadian journalist from CHTV in Victoria who talked about "The History of the 'Comfort Women' and Impact on Canadian Society" and 2 scholars from Japan visiting UBC. Etsuro Totsuka, a Japanese law professor and activist reported on "The NGO's Legal Efforts to Obtain Redress and Compensation for Former Comfort Women”. Young-Ae Yamashita from Ritsumeikan University in Japan discussed "The Re-discovery of the Comfort Women Issue in Korea". A video documentary on testimonies made by former military sex slaves (“comfort women”) at Women’s International War Crime Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo 2000 was presented at the event.
May 16,2002 B.C. ALPHA together with Uvoice (the SFU’s Bilingual Chinese Newspaper), Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network (CAPRN), the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association Human Rights Committee and the Vancouver “Hanin” Korean Development Society jointly sponsored AN ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH EVENT, “HISTORY, REDRESS AND RECONCILIATION”. The event was held on May 16 (Thursday) from 7-9 p.m at the Simon Fraser University Habourside Centre Campus. It began with a video documentary on testimonies made by former military sex slaves (“comfort women”) at Women’s International War Crime Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo 2000. Four representatives from the Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Korean communities then discussed how various issues arising out of the Asia Pacific War are still impacting their relations with one another. Panelists include Tatsuo Kage, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association Human Rights Committee; Thekla Lit, president of B.C. Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA); Marius Van Nooten, former slave labourer in a Japanese concentration camp; Sang Hoon Park, former South Korean colonel. The panel was moderated by Jenny Kwan, MLA of Mount Pleasant
June 8, 2002 Chinese Canadian National Council organized the World Conference Against Racism Post Conference in Canada: “Our Voices, Our Strategies: Asian Canadians Against Racism” in University of British Columbia from June 7-9, 2002. President of of B.C. ALHPA was invited to speak on the Workshop on “Redress for historical injustices” on June 8, 2002. Other speakers in the workshop were Prof. Roy Miki of Simon Fraser Universityand Hayato Nakamura of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism from Japan.
20 August 2002 Sponsored the Vancouver Premiere of "Yesterday is Now - the war, 55 years after Japan's surrender" (Canada 2002, documentary video, 96 minutes, English and Japanese with English subtitles) held at Pacific Cinematheque. This documentary is supported by the National Film Board of Canada-Filmmaker Assistance Program and Canada ALPHA. Yesterday is Now explores the divisions in today’s Japanese society as it struggles with the question of how to consider the war and Japan’s responsibility for the crimes it committed during its occupation of neighbouring Asian countries between 1895-1945. These crimes include sexual slavery, slave labour, the use of humans in biological warfare experiments, and the massacres of civilians.
21 – 22 March 2003 Co-sponsored the Canadian Conference on Preventing Crimes Against Humanity: Lessons from the Asia-Pacific War with Human Rights Committee of JCCA, CAPRN and 3 departments of UBC (First Nations House of Learning, Women’s Studies and International House) www.aplconference.ca
20 May 2003 Organized the Canadians delegation to Support Survivors of Germ Warfare at the First Appeal Court Hearing In Tokyo. Other sponsoring organizations are Human Rights Committee of JCCA, CAPRN. The delegates include:-
˙ Ellen Woodworth, Vancouver City Councilor, Human Rights Activist
˙ Judy Hanazawa, Chair, National Association of Japanese Canadians Human Rights Committee
˙ Sarah Tsang, 2003 Graduate from the University of British Columbia in Honours History, Member of BC ALPHA
˙ David McIntosh, Member, Greater Vancouver JCCA Human Rights Committee. Interpreter.
29 May 2003 Co-sponsored the Korean Roundtable – “Global Militarism: Is Korea Next on the Bush Agenda?” organized by CAPRN. The following questions are discussed:-
˙ How should community and labour activists react to US threats against North Korea?
˙ What can individuals do to prevent another war on the Korean peninsula?
˙ Does the Canadian government have a role to play?
˙ Is North Korea a terrorist state?
˙ What is the US strategy in East Asia? Where does Japan fit in?
24 October 2003 Organized a workshop and information table at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship”
25 January 2004 Co-organized with StopWar.ca a form on Korea, US Militarism and the Danger of War in East Asia. Special guest speakers included Prof. Suh Sung, Prof. John Price and B.C. ALPHA president Thekla Lit.
9 February 2004 Presentation to the Vancouver School Board urging for their support of the use of the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship”
28 May 2004 Organized the Public Forum on "North Korea - Cultivating a Culture of Peace in East Asia” as a concurrent event of the Asian Heritage Month. The form was co-sponsored by Human Rights Committee of JCCA and CARPN.
12 & 19 June 2004 North America Gale Premiere of May and August in support of the Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers to be held from July 26 to August 8, 2004.
26 July – 8 August 2004 To support the Social Studies Curriculum, the BC Ministry of Education published the Social Studies Teachers’ Guide “Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” It is an excellent class tool for peace and justice education and for fighting against racism. It’s the world’s first teachers’ guide using humanity issues in the history of the Asia-Pacific War to teach human rights and global citizenship.
As a partner in the development of this teaching resource, ALPHA has offered continual support to teachers in the effective use of this education tool including organizing thePeace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
The Study Tour aims at enhancing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the cultural and historical background of China during the Asia-Pacific War era. They will be meeting survivors, historians and teachers, visiting museums and historical sites. To address legacy of the war and how it impacts regional peace, they will also be meeting scholars and lawyers supporting survivors’ redress. Moreover, teachers can share their experience in the teaching of social responsibility and global citizenship, including developing ideas in using the teachers’ guide.
The first Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teacher in 2004 was a resounding success. Participants all vow to become the voice of the war-crime victims to further the cause of justice and reconciliation. History comes alive in Canadian classrooms and precious lessons of peace are taught to the next generations. www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour
22 October 2004 Organized a workshop and information table at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association PSA Day Conference to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the first Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
December 2004 Made a contribution to the Hanaoka Fund, which provides aids to Chinese victims who were forced into slave labor for the Kajima Corporation at the Hanaoka mine in Akita during World War II, and declined the unjust terms of “reconciliation” offered by Kajima in 2000. The fund was jointly set up by overseas Chinese groups world-wide.
4 May 2005 As a member organization of the British Columbia Committee Against Japan’s Bid for UN Security Council Permanent Seat organized and participated theMay 4 Rally to oppose Japan's bid for permanent seat on UN Security Council and to protest Japan’s further whitewashing of its aggression and atrocities in their history textbooks. http://www.alpha-canada.org/petition/
18 May 2005 Issued the Multi-Ethnic Joint Position on the Recent Tension in East Asia - For Redress, Reconciliation and Peace in the Asia-Pacific to urge the Canadian government to support redress for victims of WWII in Asia and to take action to assure Canadians have an equal opportunity to learn lessons from World War II in Asia as well as in Europe. http://www.alpha-canada.org/multiethnic
28 & 29 May 2005 A fundraiser film show “Go Home” was organized in support of the 2005 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers to be held from July 11 - 24. www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour.
11 – 24 July 2005 The 2nd Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers was joined by a total of 29 delegates from both BC and Ontario. Participants met with survivors of war crimes committed by Japanese Imperial Army, visited historical sites and attended seminars with scholars and lawyers supporting the redress movement. They visited 4 cites including Shanghai, Yiwu, Nanjing and Beijing to explore issues on “comfort women”, germ warfare, Nanking Massacre and forced labour. A video documentary on this Study Tour was also produced. http://www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour/report.htm
10 August 2005 Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the End of WWII in Asia cum Global Day of Action in Support of Redress for "Comfort Women" and other Asian Holocaust Victims was organized in front of the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver. At this occasion, Vancouver City Council proclaimed August 15, 2005 as Day of Peace in the Pacific. Representative from the 3 levels of governments also attended and addressed in this event. http://www.alpha-canada.org/commemoration
15 August 2005 President of BC ALPHA has been invited to be a guest of honor to speak at the Commemorative event for the 60th Anniversary of the End of WWII in Asia hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of BC at the Government House in Victoria. http://www.ltgov.bc.ca/whatsnew/pg/60thAnniversary/050815_60anniv_photo01.htm
20 August – 23 September 2005 To commemoration the 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII in Asia, BC ALPHA was invited by the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver to co-host an exhibition on “Contribution of Overseas China to the War of Resistance to Japanese Invasion” held at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver and inVictoria. Three seminars related to the themes were held on August 20 and 27 at the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre.
29 October 2005 Launching of the Oral History DVD, Witness To History: Canadian Survivors Of Wwii In Asia was held at the Vancouver City Council. The documentary features the story of four Asian Holocaust survivors, namely Miriam, Tang Yongjiang, Tony Cowling and Marius van Dijk van Nooten. Three of them were in their childhood at wartime and Tony was only 17 years old when he became a POW. They witnessed and experienced the sufferings and horrors of war, particularly the impact of atrocities on women and children. Length of each survivor’s testimony ranges from 21 to 31 minutes and each story was appropriately “chapterized” to allow teachers the versatility in classroom use. There is also a 17 minute excerpt of testimony highlights available for teachers if they want to introduce briefly more than just one survivors’ experience to the class. This is a companion DVD for the learning resource, Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931 – 1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship jointly developed by BC Ministry of Education and BC ALPHA in 2001. http://www.alpha-canada.org/OralHistory
17 February 2006 Organized a workshop and information table at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
9 March 2006 Invited by Vancouver School Board to organizer a workshop to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
13 & 21 May 2006 A fundraiser film show “King of Masks” was organized in support of the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers to be held from July 27 – August 9, 2006 www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour.
23 – 28 June 2006 As one of the sponsoring organizations of the World Peace Forum (www.worldpeaceforum.ca), volunteers of BC ALPHA helped out in the forum especially in organizing the Asian Regional Conference (http://www.vcn.bc.ca/alpha/arc/). The Asia Regional Conference aimed to examine key issues in the Asia region (including northeast, southeast and South Asia as well as the Pacific Islands). Among the topics to be explored were regional security issues including US bases, Korean reunification, a nuclear-free Asia, the "war on terror", ballistic missile defence, redress and reconciliation issues, revision of Article 9 (peace clause in Japan's constitution), and others. It also aimed to attract anti-war activists from Asia and the Pacific Islands as well as local activists with an interest in the topics addressed.
27 July – 9August 2006 The 3rd Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers was joined by 15 teachers from BC and 2 teachers from New Jersey recommended by NJ ALPHA and the NJ Holocaust & Genocide Education Centre. Participants met with survivors of war crimes committed by Japanese Imperial Army, visited historical sites and attended seminars with scholars and lawyers supporting the redress movement. The cities visited including Shanghai, Nanjing and Zhengzhou, Xiangcheng, Shijiachuang and Beijing. The participants explored the issues on “comfort women”, germ warfare, Nanking Massacre, forced labour and the contribution of Dr. Norman Bethune, a Canadian humanitarian who support China in the war of resistance to Japanese invasion. A video documentary on this Study Tour was produced by CCTV. http://www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour/report.htm Other 2 video documentary are also under production by 2 teacher participants. They will be used as supporting resource for the teaching of the Ministry developed resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship”.
20 – 21 October 2006 Information table was set up at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference to introduce the learning resource,“Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2007 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
27 – 29 October 2006 BC ALPHA was a co-sponsor of the 2006 GA retreat held in Washington DC. BC ALPHA was responsible for the program design and implementation.
February 2007 Promotion of the making of Iris Chang, the movie with media including CBC Radio, Fairchild TV, Channel M, Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily and World Journal.
February 2007 A donation of RMB20,000 was raised to be remitted to the Legal Foundation in Support of Chinese Victims’ Lawsuits Against Japanese Government and Corporations in the name of Elder Geng Zhun. Elder Geng was the leader of the Hanaoko forced labourers’ uprising against the brutal treatment by the Japanese captors in 1945.
19 February 2007 Invited by Vancouver School Board to organizer a workshop to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2007 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
March 2007 A donation of RMB3,000 was raised for the subsidy of some survivors of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery. The subsidy was distributed through Attorney Kang Jian in Beijing.
March 2007 Organized letter writing campaign for forced labour case to be sent to the Supreme Court of Japan in support of the Chinese victims rights to claim for compensation from the Japanese government and corporations. Eventually, 5 Canadian MPs, 3 MLAs, 1 city councilor, and many representatives from labour, human rights and peace organizations sent their letters to Japan’s Supreme Court.
9 March 2007 A Press conference was held to speak on the following 2 issues:-
• the denial of “comfort women” by the Prime Minister Abe of Japan
• the court hearing by the Supreme Court of Japan on the defense argument submitted by Japanese corporations and Japanese government that the right to claim of Chinese forced labor victims had been forfeited in treaties, including bilateral treaties between Japan and China.
Represented by politicians of 3 levels of government, peace and human rights organizations and labor organizations were invited to speak at this press conference
12 – 20 March 2007 BC ALPHA sent representative to join the international delegation to observe and to attend the court hearings on a number of Chinese victims’ lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations, including the one heard at the Supreme Court of Japan on 16 March 2007.
April 2007 – Present Organized the Petition Campaign for Motion 291 which reads as follows: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should urge the Prime Minister and the Parliament of Japan to: (a) pass a resolution in the Diet to formally apologize to the women who were coerced into military sexual slavery during the Second World War and were euphemized as ‘comfort women’ by the Japanese Imperial Army; and (b) provide just and honorable compensation to these victims.”
13 April 2007 Meeting with Hon. Jason Kenny, Secretary of State – Multiculturalism & Canadian Identity together with representatives from the Korean, Filipino and Japanese community and 2 Asian Holocaust survivors. The objective of the meeting was to brief Hon. Kenny about the issue of “comfort women” and to get his support to Motion 291.
17 April 2007 BC ALPHA was invited to make presentation about the “comfort women” issue for the Anit-racism Committee of the BC Social Workers’ Association.
28 April & 9 June 2007 Two pre-tour meetings were held to prepare the teacher participants for the 4th Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers. Each of the meetings lasted for 5 hours to cover both academic discussion and logistic preparations.
26 May 2007 BC ALPHA was invited to make presentation about the “comfort women” issue for board members of the Women’s International League of Peace & Freedom – Canada Branch (WILPF). The board of WILPF passed a resolution to support Motion 291 and would bring the issue to their international annual meeting to urge women from other countries to bring this issue to their respective governments for supporting redress for the “comfort women”.
26 & 27 May, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17 June 2007 Volunteers of BC ALPHA collected signatures to petition MPs to support M 291 at shopping malls including the Chinatown Plaza & Parker Place in Richmond. So far a total of 5000 signatures were collected from BC.
29 May 2007 An opinion ad was placed on Globe & Mail to support the signature campaign for Motion 291. The ad was sponsored by Harmony Education Foundation in association with Canada ALPHA, Council of Korean Churches in Ontario, Korean Canadian Cultural Association, Indonesia Canadian Community Association and Community Alliance for Social Justice.
30 June – 14 July 2007 The 4th Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers (http://www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour/report.htm) was participated by 25 teachers from both BC and Toronto. Participants met with survivors of war crimes committed by Japanese Imperial Army, visited historical sites and attended seminars with scholars and lawyers supporting the redress movement. The cities visited including Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin and Beijing. The participants explored the issues on “comfort women”, Nanking Massacre, forced labour and the Unit 731 – Japanese biological and chemical warfare experiment project.
4 – 16 July 2007 Support the History and Cultural Study Tour for 30 students and teachers of North Delta Secondary School. BC ALPHA helped to arrange the group to meet with survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery system, the so-call “comfort women” and survivors of Nanking Massacre. Visits to the Chinese “Comfort Women” Archive Centre in Shanghai and the John Rabe & International Safety Zone Memorial Museum in Nanjing were also arranged. For details, refer to 'Comfort woman' shares her painful past.
4 & 5 August 2007 Exhibits on A-Bomb, the Article 9 and “Comfort Women” were jointly displayed by BC ALPHA and the Vancouver Save Article 9 Group at the Powell Street Festival. Signatures were also collected to petition the MP to support Motion 291. MP Olivia Chow and Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan visited the exhibits and signed the petition.
14 August 2007 1st Post-tour meeting was held for the participants of the 2007 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour. Discussion focused about what lessons plans and teaching materials can be developed.
4 – 7 October 2007 Representatives of Canada ALPHA were invited to the World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery (http://www.jmss.info/) at theUniversity of California at Los Angeles. Besides presenting the country report of NGO on progress made in the movement in Canada for achieving justice for the survivor, representative of Canada ALPHA also spoke at the Group Strategy Session: Globalizing the Movement for Justice and Reparations and Forming a Plan of Action.
8 October 2007 A screening of the documentary, Nanking (http://www.nankingthefilm.com/) at Vancouver International Film Festival was organized for alumni of the Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour. A reunion was also held immediately after the screening to share their thoughts and possible use of this movie in their classroom.
12 October 2007 Representatives of BC ALPHA were invited to meet with MP Barry Devolin about the government support to Motion 291. MP Devolin was positive and stated that using there are 2 sides of an issue but for “comfort women’ issue, there is only one side of it which is to acknowledge the facts and to support redress for the victims.
19 October 2007 Information table was set up and a workshop was conducted at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2008 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
9 November 2007 The documentary, ”Forgotten Holocaust” produced by Raymond Lemoine, participant of the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour was also screened at the Port Moody Film Festival. The documentary contains 3 chapters, namely Nanking Massacre, Forced Labour and Comfort Station. The screening was followed by Q&A conducted by representative of BC ALPHA and Raymond. Feedbacks to the documentary were very positive.
15, 17, 22 & 25 November 2007 Vancouver premiere & screenings of the movie “Iris Chang The Rape of Nanking” (http://www.alpha-canada.org/fundraise) were held at the Ridge Theatre. The docudrama was produced by Reel to Real Production Inc. in association with Canada ALPHA and Dadi Entertainment. Iris Chang’s parents, Drs. Ying Ying Chang and Shau Jin Chang as well as Olivia Cheng, actress who played Iris were presented at the first two screenings to answer questions and do book signing. The movie was very well received with many positive feedbacks from teachers and students.
25 – 28 November 2007 Four survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery system from China, Korea, the Philippines and Holland were invited to Canada to speak at a series of public and educational events as part of the campaign for passing a motion in the Canadian House of Commons to urge the Japanese government to redress the “comfort women”. They were Mian-Huan Liu, Jeomdol Jang, Fedencia David and Ellen van der Pleog. A public witnessing forum and an educational forum were held at the University of Toronto on November 25 and 26 respectively. The 4 survivors were also invited to testify at the Parliament by representatives of the 4 parties, Hon.Jason Kenney of the Conservative Party, Olivia Chow of the New Democratic Party, Derek Lee of the Liberal Party and Meili Faille of Bloc Québécois. By unanimous consent, the motion was passed in the House of Commons on November 28, 2008 (http://www.alpha-canada.org/Motion291/m291.htm).
3 December 2007 A public witnessing forum titled Dim Sum with “Comfort Women” was held. Grandma LIU Mian-Huan, survivor of “comfort woman” and Attorney KANG Jian, legal expert for compensation lawsuit for Chinese survivors spoke at the event and were warmly received by over 100 participants.
8 December 2008 2nd Post-tour meeting was held for the participants of the 2007 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour. Lessons plans and newly developed teaching materials were introduced and shared among teachers.
9 December 2007 In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, a drama, “Nanjing 1937” was co-presented by BC ALPHA and Sacrificium Society of Productions (http://www.alpha-canada.org/nj1937). Two performances were staged at the Norman Rothstein Theatre. Following the drama performance, the documentary, “Forgotten Holocaust” produced by Raymond Lemoine, participant of the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour was also screened.
12 – 15 December 2007 Representatives of Canada ALPHA were invited to join the International Conference on Nanking Massacre as well as the commemorative event of the 70th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre at the Nanking Massacre Memorial Museum after its renovation and expansion. At the conference, a paper on “HowNanking Massacre can be used for peace education as demonstrated in the resource guide published by the BC Education Ministry” was presented by representative of BC ALPHA.
Jan – Mar 2008 Recruitment and selection of participants for the 2008 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour for Canadian Educators.
20 February 2008 Invited by Vancouver School Board to organizer a workshop to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2008 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
25 February 2008 Invited by the Burnaby Teachers’ Association to organize a workshop to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2008 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers.
29, 12 & 20 March 2008 Representatives of BC ALPHA were invited to do a professional development course on War Atrocity and Peace Education by the Centre for Catholic Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/crs/catholic/CCS/index_ch.html). 26 teachers had participated in the 3-days workshop and filed trip as scheduled.
26 April, 17 May & 7 June 2008 Three pre-tour meetings were held to prepare the teacher participants for the 5th Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to Chinafor Canadian Teachers. Each of the meetings lasted for 4 hours to cover both academic discussion and logistic preparations.
26 May 2008 Nominated by past participants of the Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Educators, Thekla as President of B.C. ALPHA was shortlisted as nominee for the 2008 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in recognition of her work for ALPHA.
3 – 17 July 2008 The 5th Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Educators (http://www.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour/report.htm) was participated by 39 teachers from BC, Ontario, Edmonton and even on from Australia . Participants met with survivors of war crimes committed by Japanese Imperial Army, visited historical sites and attended seminars with scholars and lawyers supporting the redress movement. The cities visited including Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin and Seoul. The participants explored the issues on “comfort women”, Nanking Massacre, forced labour and the Unit 731 – Japanese biological and chemical warfare experiment project.
15 August 2008 Attended the commemoration of the 63rd anniversary of the end of WWII in Asia at White Rock organized by August 15, 1945 Foundation (an organization formed to support Dutch survivors who were victims of Japanese concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies).
15 August 2008 Invited to talk about ALPHA’s work to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the end of WWII in Asia in a phone-in program of AM1320.
18 August 2008 Invited to introduce ALPHA’s work at the morning news program of AM1470.
21 October 2008 Press conference held at BC Teachers’ Federation for launching the Korean drama, NABI – “Comfort Women”. After its critically acclaimed performance in New York and Korea, Chungmi Kim's Comfort Women is playing a limited run in Vancouver and Toronto. The show has been touring around the Korea since 2004. Around 200,000 women from all over Asia were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese Army during WWII. You will witness the historical evidence of the war crime deeply engraved in these women’s lives through eyes of Grandma Yuni Kim, the main character of this story. The Off-Broadway hit, based on a true story, tells the story of three women coming to terms with their shame and memories as "comfort women" during the Japanese occupation. For details, click:
24 October 2008 Information table was set up at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference at Riverside Secondary School to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and the 2008 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to China for Canadian Teachers. An Workshop, Teaching and Learning Activities on “Comfort Women” was also conducted at the Conference.
24 October 24 – 7 November 2008 Participated in the Living Blanket which is a collective creation of pieces of square made for peace, woven together for a better tomorrow. The exhibition was held at Centre A in Vancouver.
27 October 2008 Magazine 26- A Wonderful Life (26分鐘精彩人生) of Fairchild TV featured Thekla as President of B.C. ALPHA in recognition of ALPHA’s contribution to both the Chinese community and Canada in general. For viewing, click:
30 October 2008 Completion of the Study Guide for teachers on Iris Chang – The Rape of Nanking, a feature-length documentary film. Many people contributed their expertise to this document. The project manager was Thekla Lit of B.C. ALPHA (Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia). B.C. ALPHA acknowledges the many Canadian educators who contributed to this document, as well as the writing, editorial, and technical support provided by GT Publishing Services Ltd. ofVancouver. The Study Guide can be downloaded from: http://www.alpha-canada.org/studyguide/index.htm
8, 9 & 13 November 2008 Promotional interviews were broadcasted on 城市妙聽聞, 熒幕八爪娛and 都市有約 respectively for the play NABI – “Comfort Women”.
20 – 22 November 2008 NABI – “Comfort Women” staged by Drama Club Nabi from Korea
hosted by Drama Club Hanuree and sponsored by B.C. ALPHA was showed at Evergreen Culture Centre in Coquitlam. An reception was also hosted and attended by guests of honors including MP Dawn Black, MLA Diane Throne and representatives from many community organizations. The play was very well received. For review of the play, click
21 April 2009 Attended the commemorative event for Holocaust Remembrance Day at Jewish Community Centre. The event was part of the project organized by Dale Martelli of Vancouver Technical Secondary School, participant of the 2009 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour. He worked with King David High School on a Yom Ha-Shoah presentation/project with a group of grade 12s from each of their respective schools. The project was a comparative genocide project; VTSS students presented the Asian Genocide and King David presented the Shoah.
9 July 2009 Canada ALPHA joined hands with representatives of other ethnic community groups (namely Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and European) that make up the rich diversity of Canada, extended their warm welcome to the Japanese Emperor and Empress for their visit to Canada. At the same time, they issued an open appeal letter to the Emperor, urging for his continued efforts to bring healing and justice to the victims of atrocities committed by Japan before and during the Asia-Pacific War, and for his support of the endeavours to keep Article 9 intact in the spirit of peace. (www.alpha-canada.org/LetterToJE)
15 August 2009 Sponsor UBC AWWA (Awareness of WWII in Asia Club) (www.awwa.ca) to organize the “Commemoration of the 64th Anniversary of WWII in Asia” at Robson Square Theatre at Downtown UBC. Mayor of Vancouver issued a proclamation to declare that day as Day of Peace in the Asia-Pacific. The event was well attended by over 200 people from different ethnic groups, including some veterans who had participated in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. Following the proclamation of Day of Peace in the Asia-Pacific, the film, Iris Chang – The Rape of Nanking was screened. A panel discussion on the film and on issues of WWII in Asiawas held afterwards. The panel speakers were
· Oliver Cheng, actress playing Iris Chang
· Marius van Nooten, survivor of child forced labour at Japanese concentration camps
· Thekla Lit, president of BC ALPHA
A series of media work was conducted including issuing press releases, interviews by TV & radio programs. For media reports and details of the program, visithttp://www.alpha-canada.org/PeaceDay2009/ .
24 September 2009 A joint press Conference was held with Toronto ALPHA regarding defamatory passage published in the book, Nest of Spies authored by Michel Juneau-Katsuya and Fabrice de Pierrebourg. The press conference was to announce that Canada ALPHA, BC ALPHA, Toronto ALPHA together with the 2 co-chairs and vice-chair of Canada ALPHA had launch legal action against the following defendants who had involvement in the libel case:-
· HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
· Fabrice de Pierrebourg, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
· Michel Juneau-Katsuya, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
· The Windsor Star Group Inc.
· Jim Venney, Publisher, The Windsor Star Group Inc.
· The Ottawa Citizen
· James Orban, Publisher, The Ottawa Citizen
· Ian Macleod, The Ottawa Citizen
· Canwest News Service
· David Kilgour
23 October 2009 Information table was set up at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference at Riverside Secondary School to introduce the learning resource, “Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific (1931- 1945): Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship” and other learning resources to support teaching of the Asian Holocaust.
30 October 2009 Canada ALPHA issued a Statement on the Nishimatsu’s Yasuno “Settlement” to condemn Nishimatsu for their lack of remorse and sincerity in their settlement with the Chinese forced labor victims of the Nishimatsu-Yasuno worksite. Nishimatsu was urged to take up the responsibility in correcting their wrong attitude and acts, be courageous and resolute in admitting the misdeeds committed by the company with regard to abducting, enslaving, and abusing the Chinese laborers during the War, and offering a sincere apology and just compensation to the victims, so that genuine reconciliation can be reached.
5 November 2009 Press conference was held at Vancouver School Board (VSB) to announce the 1st International Human Rights Day Student Symposium: Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945 to be held on December 10 & 11 at Vancouver School Board Education Centre. The Symposium was co-sponsored by BC ALPHA & VSB. A series of media work was conducted, including issuing press releases, interviews by TV & radio programs to help raise fund to finance this Symposium.
16 November 2009 Press conference was held to announce the partial victory of the libel case regarding the book, Nest of Spies. The following defendants agreed to withdraw the articles they published quoting the defamatory passages of the book, to publish apology statement in their respective newspapers and websites, and to pay damages to the ALPHA plaintiffs:-
· The Windsor Star Group Inc.
· Jim Venney, Publisher, The Windsor Star Group Inc.
· The Ottawa Citizen
· James Orban, Publisher, The Ottawa Citizen
· Ian Macleod, The Ottawa Citizen
· Canwest News Service
· David Kilgour
5 December 2009 BC ALPHA co-sponsored the Cultural Night of Solidarity for Human Rights in commemoration of the 61st Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The event was jointly organized by Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), Iranian Centre for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice, Migrante B.C., Bureau for Latin America and Caribbean Solidarity, FMLN-Vancouver, New Noise (Mexico), Grupo Morazanico (Honduras), Urban Nisga'a Woman from the Nisga'a Nation, and Cultural House of Mawlana, Afghanistan.
10 & 11 December 2009 The 1st International Human Rights Day Symposium: Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945 was held at Vancouver School Board Education Centre. The symposium was organized to help students better understand and reflect on issues of human rights violations during the Asia-Pacific War (1931- 1945) and to make connections to present day local and global issues. Objectives of the Symposium are:-
Promote students’ awareness and understanding of the International Human Rights Day on December 10 which marks the anniversary of the UN Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Provide significant learning opportunities for senior students on issues of human rights violations, with special reference to violations before and during the era of WWII in Asia.
Foster students’ compassion and empathy for the victims and survivors of wartime human rights violations, particularly of women and children
Develop students’ appreciation of the victims’ spirit of perseverance, hope and justice in their painful healing process of reconciliation and peace.
The symposium will provide Social Studies teachers with concrete, supplementary, non-Eurocentric resources to support their existing curricula. These resources will also support teachers who intend to use or have been using the teacher guide, Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenshipdeveloped and published by the BC Ministry of Education in 2001.
Teachers of Social Studies 11, History 12, Law 12 & Social Justice 12 could register to bring their students to attend the Symposium. A total of 327 students and teachers from 10 secondary schools of 6 school districts participated in the Symposium with 3 plenary sessions and 5 workshops. For details of the symposium, visit http://www.alpha-canada.org/ihrdss/ .
11 March 2010 BC ALPHA sponsored the screening of Iris Chang – The Rape of Nanking at UBC as organized by UBC AWWA Club (Awareness of WWII in Asia Club). The following persons were panelists at the discussion session after the screening:-
· James Burnham Sedgwick (Sessional Lecturer, History Department, UBC)
· Mary Ohara (Internment camp survivor)
· Thekla Lit (Founder and president of BC ALPHA)
· Satoko Norimatsu (Founder of Peace Philosophy Center)
13 March 2010 BC ALPHA co-sponsored the event Join Us in Celebrating Women's Struggles Around the World! The event was organized by different ethnic community groups to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
25 March 2010 Canada ALPHA issued a public statement regarding the proposed Nishimatsu-Shinanogawa “settlement” to express the followings:-
Supporting the Chinese forced labor plaintiffs who were abducted to and enslaved at the Shinanogawa work site of Nishimatsu for their rejection of the insincere “settlement” agreement offered by Nishimatsu
Urging the Japanese lawyers who represent the plaintiffs not to violate the position of the plaintiffs
For details, visit http://www.gcpnews.com/articles/2010-03-26/C1063_50743.html
26 April 2010 A press conference was held at Beijing with the following speakers:-
· Attorney Kang Jian, Chinese lawyer representing the Chinese forced labor victims of the Nishimatsu-Shinanogawa worksite
· Chinese forced labor victims and the descendents of Nishimatsu-Shinanogawa worksite
· Thekla Lit, co-chair of Canada ALPHA and president of BC ALPHA (participated through video conferencing)
· Chung Wai-Ming, chair of Wai-Ming Charitable Fund
The objectives of the press conference were: a) To denounce the Nishimatsu-Shinanogawa “settlement” based on the unacceptable premise that “Chinese people’s right to claim had been waived”. (b) To encourage the plaintiffs who all rejected this “settlement” to continue their just struggle against the Japanese government and Nishimatsu, (c) To show support to the victims, BC ALPHA and Wai-Ming Charitable Fund jointly offered 350,000 Yuan Renminbi to the 7 forced labor victims and surviving families who refused to accept the Nishimatsu-Shinanogawa “settlement” and the “atonement money” from Nishimatsu. For details, visit: http://news.singtao.ca/vancouver/2010-04-27/community1272364796d2453625.html &
'Comfort woman' shares her painful past
From Monday's Globe and Mail
July 9, 2007 at 7:20 AM EDT
SHANGHAI — At the age of 81, stooped and frail, Lin Yanjin is one of the last remaining witnesses to the truth about Japan's wartime sex slaves.
For five months in 1943, she was raped every day by Japanese soldiers who occupied the Chinese island of Hainan. She remembers the beatings and cigarette burns that left her swollen and in constant pain. She was 17 years old.
Yet the details of her story - and many similar accounts - are increasingly denied and dismissed by political leaders in Japan, where nationalism and patriotism are a rising force.
Even the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, recently claimed that the "comfort women" were not coerced.
Visitors look at portraits of women forced to become comfort women by the Japanese military during the Second World War at the historical museum of sexual slavery in Gwangju, South Korea. (Han Jae-ho/Reuters)
Last month, 44 Japanese members of Parliament bought a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post to allege that the comfort women of the 1940s were licensed prostitutes who were often better paid than Japanese military officers.
For the survivors of the system of sexual slavery at Japanese military bases, the latest denials have added a deep insult to a horrific injury.
"I was very angry when I heard such news," Ms. Lin said. "The Japanese government is still denying it. But it really happened. It happened to me in Hainan. And I'm still suffering from the violence they did to me."
An estimated 200,000 women - mostly Chinese and Korean - were forced into sexual servitude under Japanese wartime occupation. Of the Chinese victims, only 47 are still alive and willing to speak out. Every year, more of the survivors are dying.
The death of 83-year-old Yuan Zhulin in early 2006 meant the loss of another witness. In 1941, when she was a 21-year-old woman in a Japanese-occupied region of southern China, she was recruited by Japanese soldiers who told her that she would work as a hotel cleaner.
Instead, she was transferred to a "comfort station" at a Japanese military base. She tried to resist, but soldiers forced her into the station with bayonets and she was beaten by the Japanese owner of the station.
Ms. Yuan had a two-year-old baby at the time, but she was forcibly separated from the child, who starved to death as a result. After the war, her injuries left her unable to have any more children.
"My mother was definitely coerced to be a comfort woman," said her adopted daughter, 60-year-old Chen Fei. "To the last possible moment, she fought against the Japanese military."
Her mother believed that China and Japan should learn from their history, Ms. Chen said. "The Japanese government is refusing to admit what it did," she said. "It refuses to show any repentance. This is a violation of historical facts. I'm very angry and frustrated by it."
Ms. Chen and Ms. Lin spoke to a group of Canadian high-school students in Shanghai on Saturday. It was the 70th anniversary of the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China's biggest cities in 1937.
The women spoke at Shanghai Normal University, where China has opened its first official archives on the ordeal of the "comfort women," as the sex slaves were euphemistically known in Japan.
The archives, which opened last week, includes a Japanese soldier's condom and other evidence gathered from the remains of the comfort stations in China.
Its director, history professor Su Zhiliang, says the Japanese military created about 160 comfort stations in Shanghai alone. Using old photographs and documents, he has tracked down the exact addresses of many of them. Some of the Chinese comfort women were girls as young as 12 years old, he said. The girls and women were forced to provide sex to as many as 50 soldiers a day.
Ms. Lin was a peasant woman, working in a rice paddy, when she was abducted by Japanese soldiers and taken to a military base in 1943.
"We were treated worse than pigs and dogs," she said. "We were not given clothes. We were violated in the daytime and the nighttime."
As she told her story to the Canadian students, Ms. Lin spoke in a weak and trembling voice. At first she was expressionless, but later she wept repeatedly. Many of the students cried, too, as they listened.
"When they raped me, I resisted strongly, but they were too strong," she said. "They beat me and burned my face with cigarettes. My whole face and body was swollen. I wanted to run away, but there was no way to escape. I cried all day."
After she had survived five months in captivity, her parents managed to bribe some Chinese security men, giving them chickens in exchange for their help in obtaining their daughter's release from the military base.
Even two months after her release, she was still seriously ill, with blood in her urine. But her ordeal was not over. Japanese soldiers often came to her village, and some of them raped her again.
After the war, it was many years before she was able to marry. "I felt very ugly, because of the violence against me," she said. "I felt that I could not think of love."
When she eventually married, she became pregnant but miscarried and was never able to have a child, though she adopted a son. "My womb was never able to recover from the trauma of what was done to me," she said. "I still feel the pain today, physically and emotionally. My whole life was destroyed by what I suffered. I still feel very bad. I feel that no man can ever like me."
For most of her life, Ms. Lin has lived in poverty in a shabby hut in the hills of Hainan. In recent years she has received a small income supplement from the researchers at Shanghai Normal University.
Her family members did not want her to travel to Shanghai to describe her wartime suffering. The ordeal of the comfort women is still a taboo subject in Hainan's villages - a source of shame for the villagers. It took courage for her to speak out, her supporters say.
"I just want to have peace of mind," Ms. Lin said. "I insist that the Japanese government should apologize and pay compensation, so that I can console my mind."
The students, from schools near Vancouver, were moved by her words. "It's very important that everyone should know about this, because otherwise history could be repeated," said Sara Carlyle, a Grade 12 student at North Delta Secondary School in Delta, B.C.
She told Ms. Lin: "You are our inspiration. These things will not go in vain. They will be known, and they will make a difference."
Megan Lum, a Grade 10 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary School in Surrey, B.C., said it was "heartbreaking" to hear Ms. Lin's story.
"What happened was horrible," she said. "It's even more horrible that we don't know about it and it's not taught in school."
2010-03-26 09:25 环球华报
the prisoners taken in the photo are JAPANESE soldiers not Chinese......
Communist Party of China often use the childish technique...
2010-03-26 09:25 环球华报
为此，参与了十多年索偿诉讼的5位信浓川中国劳工原告与一些劳工遗属于2010年3月22日发表声明，表示坚决拒绝西松公司缺乏诚意的和解（请看附上的西松信浓川案中国劳工声明）。今日（北京时间3月26 日），其它12起中国劳工向日本政府及日本企业索偿诉讼的204名原告，联名向西松建设发布公开信，表示支持信浓川中国劳工原告的正当要求，将坚定地与他们站在一起，并要求西松诚实地面对历史责任，否则永远不可能卸下历史包袱（请看附件 - 致西松建设（株）的公开信）。