Study Tour

The 2017 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour took place July 14-27, 2017 (14 days/13 nights). There were 16 participants accompanying Don Tow on this Study Tour.

The 16 participants consist of 9 from the U.S. (4 from NJ, 2 from CA, 1 from NM, and 2 from HI), 6 from Canada (3 from Toronto, 3 from Vancouver), and 1 from Hong Kong, covering the following professions:  teachers/educators, film makers, historians & researchers, college students, lawyers, community leaders, and activists.

Itinerary and Objective:
The 2017 Study Tour was a two-week immersion program in the history of WWII in Asia, focusing on the atrocities experienced by the Chinese and Koreans.  The group visited five cities in China (Shanghai, Quzhou, Nanjing, Beijing, and Harbin), and Seoul in South Korea.  Its objective is to increase the participants’ knowledge of WWII history in Asia, especially with respect to the massive and inhumane atrocities committed by the Japanese military in China, Korea, and other countries in Asia, and hopefully upon their return, they would help with the movement to establish peace and reconciliation by seeking justice for these atrocities.

The highlights of the study tour were:

  • Meeting/hearing testimonies from germ warfare victims (in Quzhou), Nanking Massacre survivors (in Nanjing), former slave laborers (in Beijing), and former sex slaves (in Seoul)
  • Visiting several heart-wrenching museums in both China and South Korea
  • Meeting and hearing the life-long efforts of many (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) activists who dedicated their lives to the redress movement.

It was gratifying to learn and see in Quzhou the successful treatment of several dozen rotten leg germ warfare atrocity victims after suffering from this horrible disease for more than half a century.

Here are some sample reflections from several participants:

  • “To listen to a witness is to BECOME a witness”
  • “This once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about World War II in Asia”
  • “On this journey, I learned so much about the history of World War II in Asia that I never knew I never knew!”
  • ‘’I did not know that the senior scientists and doctors returned to Japan and many became foremost scientists and doctors of premier universities and hospitals in Japan with apparently little notice given to their participation in the horrific experiments that killed thousands of persons.”
  • “We can no longer say we don’t know about the atrocities after we had the chance to meet with the sexual slavery, germ warfare, Nanking Massacre, and slave labor survivors and listened to their authentic first-hand account of the crimes against humanity committed by the Imperial Japanese soldiers that had left them scarred forever.”
  • “How to actually achieve the “Peace and Reconciliation” that is rightfully demanded, by so many people on so many fronts. It seems that so much work in this regard must be done in Japan itself, where it is resisted, repelled, and denied, and also in the U.S. as well, to discontinue her complicity.”

For more reflections from the participants, read their testimonials below.

Previous Reflections:
For a reflection of the 2014 study tour: http://www.dontow.com/2014/09/reflections-from-2014-peace-reconciliation-asia-study-tour/
For a reflection of the 2008 study tour: http://www.dontow.com/2008/12/the-journey-towards-peace-and-reconciliation/

Testimonies of NJ-ALPHA Tour Participants:
For 2015 and earlier, only the (non-staff) NJ-ALPHA participants were listed; participants from outside of NJ/NY were not listed.  For 2017 and beyond, all the (non-staff) participants (no matter where they are located) are listed.

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