Study Tour

2015 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour

The 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour will take place July 9-23, 2015.  This year’s tour is being organized by NJ-ALPHA, and will have 17 participants.  It will be one of our most comprehensive tours, and was scheduled to visit Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin, Beijing, and Seoul.  Because of the recent MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in Seoul, we decided to cancel the visit to Seoul, and will give us three extra nights/two extra days in Beijing (although several people will not stay in Beijing for all those extra days).  The tour will include discussions with victims/survivors, eyewitnesses, museum curators, Chinese/Japanese historians and researchers, NGO activists and attorneys.  A number of topics or visits will be covered, including:

  • sex slaves (also euphemistically referred to as comfort women)
  • biological and chemical warfare
  • Nanking Massacre
  • Rabe Museum, Ginling College and American missionary Minnie Vautrin
  • Residence in Nanjing of several Chinese WWII veterans
  • forced laborers (also called slave laborers)
  • litigation in Japanese and Chinese courts on comfort women, forced laborers, and germ warfare
  • international textbook unification

The 17 participants include:

  • 7 teachers from New Jersey (2 middle school, 3 high school, and 2 college-1 was also former middle school teacher)
  • 2 teachers from New York (1 middle school and 1 college)
  • 4 from Toronto, Canada (3 high school teachers and one former teacher and currently on staff of Toronto ALPHA)
  • 2 Ph.D. students in Japanese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 1 retired engineer from the U.S. and has been living in China for the last several years as teacher and translator, who will leave the tour after Harbin
  • 1 retired physicist/engineer and staff from NJ-ALPHA

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For a summary of the itinerary, click Itinerary Summary-122814.  For a one-page flyer about this tour, click Flyer-021015.

This tour is intended for people who are interested to learn more about the history of WWII in Asia and how this history has been largely neglected, and furthermore, are willing to do something to rectify these injustices, as well as preventing this kind of atrocity from being repeated in the future anywhere in the world.  Participants could be teachers, educators, film producers, journalists, lawyers, community leaders, or other professionals.

Cost:  A more detailed itinerary will be provided later.  The total cost of the tour is currently estimated to be approximately $4,300 U.S. (the exact cost will depend on factors such as the exact air travel costs and the conversion rate between U.S. dollar and the Chinese yuan).  For those participants sponsored by NJ-ALPHA, NJ-ALPHA will provide a fellowship that will pay for all the in-country (in-China and in-Korea) expenses (including room, board, domestic travel by bus, train, plane, admission charges, and tour guide expenses).  This NJ-ALPHA fellowship is expected to be approximately $2,300 U.S. The participant will be responsible for his/her international travel (including the cost of the flight from Beijing to Seoul) and visa application fees; the participant’s expenses are expected to total approximately $2,000 U.S. (not counting miscellaneous personal expenses, if any)   For those participants sponsored by other ALPHA-like organizations, the amount of financial support, if any, is determined by their sponsoring organization.

We also welcome applicants who are qualified but do not need any financial support or only partial financial support.

Application:  The application deadline is March 1, 2015, and the participants will be selected by early April 2015.  Click here for the Application form.

See below for the testimonies of NJ-ALPHA participants of previous study tours.

2014 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour

The 2014 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour has been successfully completed. The tour was organized by Toronto ALPHA.  There was a total of 19 participants, with six representing NJ-ALPHA.  The tour took place July 12-24, 2014, and visited Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin, and Seoul.  NJ-ALPHA sent six participants (including staff members) to this tour.

A reflection of this tour can be found in:  http://www.dontow.com/2014/09/reflections-from-2014-peace-reconciliation-asia-study-tour/.

Testimonies of NJ-ALPHA Tour Participants

The testimonies of all non-staff NJ-ALPHA members for 2014 as well as previous years can be found below::

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