Announcement of Resuming NJ-ALPHA Activities

Brief History:  In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of NJ-ALPHA, in the summer of 2023, officers and other active members of NJ-ALPHA met, discussed, and decided that NJ-ALPHA should continue its objective, because not only that its original objective is still valid, furthermore its importance is even more critical today, because history may repeat itself as the world is moving toward more conflicts and wars, even involving nuclear wars.

First, we want to summarize what NJ-ALPHA has done in the past 20 years in the area of improving education and understanding of the atrocities experienced by millions of Asians during WWII.

When the founding leaders of NJ-ALPHA were contemplating what activities NJ-ALPHA could do to help improve the high school education in their history and civics courses, it was decided that NJ-ALPHA could organize study tours in China and Asia for high school teachers and educators focusing on that part of history, and they can incorporate that part of history in their high school history, civics, and other courses.  Such study tours were initiated by NJ-ALPHA in 2006.  Another such study tour was organized in 2008.  Several participants of these study tours worked together with NJ-ALPHA to develop a Curriculum Guide for Secondary Teachers titled “The Nanking Massacre and Other Japanese Atrocities Committed During  Asia-Pacific War 1931-1945.”  That led to close collaboration between NJ-ALPHA and the “NJ Commission on Holocaust Education,” a NJ state government agency with a core mission to promote Holocaust and related education throughout the state by surveying, designing, encouraging and promoting Holocaust and genocide education and awareness.

Then ALPHA-like organizations in other parts of the U.S. and Canada also joined and expanded the study tours to include other parts of Asia (e.g., South Korea), and helped generate many other educational documents on that part of history.  Therefore, NJ-ALPHA and other ALPHA organizations did make a significant impact in helping to educate American and Canadian high school students on the sufferings and atrocities experienced by Chinese and other Asians during WWII. After a pause of 3-4 years from the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to continue that work.

Path Forward:  Starting with a program planned for late 2023 or early 2024, NJ-ALPHA will be working on more activities toward its objective.  Information on the next Peace and Reconciliation China Study Tour, planned for the summer of 2025, can be found in the “Study Tour” page of the NJ-ALPHA website, or its future updates.

Besides a Peace & Reconciliation China Study Tour in 2025, we may also organize smaller projects that do not require as much funding as a large study tour.  Perhaps we can organize writing competition(s) (e.g., under magazines like Sino Monthly or regional Chinese School organizations) on a related relevant topic (e.g., best allocation of civil-minded projects with limited funds, how best to compensate past atrocities, similarities and differences between different generations of Chinese or Asian Americans, …).  Such projects could lead to better use of the NJ-ALPHA funds which we have worked so hard to get.

Editorial Racing Against Time

More than seven decades have passed since WWII ended, yet the Japanese government still has not apologized for the massive and inhumane atrocities the Japanese Army committed all over Asia during WWII.  One by one, all the former sex slaves, euphemistically also known as comfort women, will die within a few more years.  Similarly all the former slave laborers, or the survivors of the biological/chemical weapons of mass destruction, or the survivors of the Nanking Massacre will die before any of them has a chance to hear their long awaited wish:  an apology from the Japanese government.

We have often heard that the Japanese government has already apologized several times.  However, whenever some Japanese government leader has offered some sort of apology, later that person or some other government leader would make statements contrary to that earlier apology.  Furthermore, no apology has ever come from the Japanese National Diet, the highest government organization in Japan.  In addition, the true history of the Japanese government’s involvement in those kinds of atrocities has not been taught in Japanese schools since the early 1980s, resulting in generations of Japanese without any knowledge of that part of history.

Within a few years, there will no longer be any living survivors.  Therefore, it becomes even more important for the world to hear and document that part of history.  This is what organizations like NJ-ALPHA are trying to do. Unfortunately, we are racing against time.

An Open Letter to the Emperor (April 24, 2019)

Adam Jonas Horowitz, an American from New Mexico, published an open letter in Counterpunch on April 24, 2019 just before the retirement of Emperor Akihito, the son of Emperor Hirohito, the Emperor of Japan during WWII.  In his letter, he requested that Emperor Akihito should apologize before retiring at the end of that month. He said that apologizing in this case is not losing face, but is in fact the opposite.  It is saving face, and providing an example of responsibility, grace, and courage that will provide peace for not only the victims of the Pacific War, but for the entire world.” Click here to read his entire letter.

Japanese War Crimes and Related Topics: A Guide to Records at the National Archives (July 19, 2019)

This massive (1,717 pages) pdf document was compiled by Greg Bradsher at the U.S, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at College Park, Maryland. It contains vast amounts of information related to military, intelligence, political, diplomatic, economic, financial, social, and cultural activities in the Far East during 1931-1951, as well as information regarding Allied prisoners of war; the organization, functions, and activities of American Allied agencies; and the Japanese occupation of countries and the American occupation of Japan.

April 23, 2019 and April 3, 2019: Two Showings of Paul Johnson’s Documentary “731 – How America Exploited Japan’s Biological Weapons Crimes”

During WWII, Japan’s military developed and used numerous biological weapons in China, killing tens of thousands of Chinese civilians, including American POWs.  But intriguingly none of the leaders was ever prosecuted in the ultimate Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. 

Paul Johnson, an award-winning broadcast journalist, explained why and documented how the U.S. exploited Japan’s biological weapons crimes.  Paul also conducted a Q&A remotely via the Internet. Paul has reported in the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Central America and Asia. 

Two Free Public Showings:  Wed. 4/3/19, Monmouth County Library HQ, 125 Symmes Dr, Manalapan, NJ (co-sponsored with the Monmouth County Library HQ), and Tues 4/23/19, Brookdale Community College (BCC), Student Life Center, 765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft, NJ (co-sponsored with the Asia Society Club of BCC.