B.C. Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in
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
The mission of BC ALPHA is to foster understanding,
redress and reconciliation related to the tragedies of WW II in
a. to promote peace, justice, fundamental human rights and freedoms, multiculturalism and racial harmony;
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
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
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
ALPHA joined the Canadian delegation to visit
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
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
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
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
October 16 - 18, 1998
B.C. ALPHA assisted in the organizing of the
3rd Biennial Conference of Global
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
supported “Perspectives” &
“U-Voice” (bilingual student
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
supported the Newfoundland-Labrador Human
Rights Association in conjunction with other members of the
Committee for March 21st to organize a
exhibition on “Inhumanity: When
Intolerance Runs Rampant” at
“Rape of Nanking” - the invasion and
• 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."
- November 1999
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
December 10 –12, 1999
International Citizens' Forum (ICF) on
War Crimes and Redress – Seeking Reconciliation and Peace for the 21st
Century, held in
December 10, 1999
The Newfoundland-Labrador Human
Rights Association (NLHRA) hosted the
“Human Rights Fair" at
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
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
“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
Speakers of the Open Forum were: John
Price - History Professor of the
February 14 - 18, 2000
supported The Empress, (bilingual
Queen’s University) to organize an on campus photo exhibition on Unit 731 – Biological and Germ Warfare of
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
Chinese Veterans Association in
• August 15, 1945 Foundation (Dutch)
• Canadian Jewish Congress
• Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, Human Rights Committee
Korean Women's Association of
November 4, 2000
co-presented the screening of the history documentary
November 10 – 12, 2000
assisted in the organizing of the 4th
Biennial Conference of Global
November 18, 2000
Representative of B.C. ALPHA
made a presentation at the workshop “From Racism to Justice and Global Citizenship” of
Racism! Activism for the 21st Century (ERA 21) was a 3-day
international forum held in
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
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 ().
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
• 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,
• 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
on Sexual Slavery of the Japanese Imperial Army were setup at the
International Women’s Day Education Fair
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
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
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
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
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
Oct 19 -21, 2001
Social Studies Provincial Conference
was held in
Oct 19 -21, 2001
BC ALHPA was invited to speak on the
International Symposium on Asian
Tragedies of World War II
sponsored 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
Dec 15 & 16, 2001
actively supported the Hong Kong
Coalition for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia
in organizing the “Witnessing
Forum on Japanese Atrocities in
on 15 & 16 December 2001 at the
City University of Hong Kong.
The 3 speakers
were Sylvia Yu, a Korean Canadian journalist from CHTV in
together with Uvoice (the SFU’s Bilingual Chinese Newspaper),
June 8, 2002
Chinese Canadian National Council
organized the World Conference Against Racism Post Conference in
20 August 2002
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
Canadians delegation to Support Survivors of Germ Warfare at the First
˙ Judy Hanazawa, Chair, National Association of Japanese Canadians Human Rights Committee
2003 Graduate from the
29 May 2003
Korean Roundtable – “Global Militarism: Is
community and labour activists react to US threats against
˙ What can individuals do to prevent another war on the Korean peninsula?
˙ Does the Canadian government have a role to play?
What is the
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
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
12 & 19 June
26 July – 8
As a partner in
the development of this teaching resource, ALPHA has offered continual
Study Tour aims at enhancing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the
cultural and historical background of
The first Peace
and Reconciliation Study Tour to
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.
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
4 May 2005
As a member organization of the
British Columbia Committee Against Japan’s Bid for UN Security Council Permanent
organized and participated the
May 4 Rally
bid for permanent seat on UN Security Council and to protest
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://archive.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. archive.alpha-canada.org/StudyTour.
11 – 24 July 2005
2nd Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to
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://archive.alpha-canada.org/commemoration
President of BC
ALPHA has been invited to be a guest of honor to speak at the
Commemorative event for the
Anniversary of the End of WWII in Asia
the Lieutenant Governor of BC at the Government House in
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
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://archive.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 archive.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
July – 9August 2006 The
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
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
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.
A donation of RMB3,000 was raised for the subsidy of some survivors of
Organized letter writing campaign for forced labour case to be sent to the
Supreme Court of
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
the court hearing by the
Supreme Court of Japan on the defense argument
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
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
30 June – 14 July 2007
Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to
4 – 16 July 2007
History and Cultural Study Tour for 30 students and teachers of
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
Representatives of Canada ALPHA were invited to the
World Conference on Japanese Military
Sexual Slavery (http://www.jmss.info/)
8 October 2007
A screening of the documentary,
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
25 – 28 November 2007
Four survivors of
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, “
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
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
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
26 April, 17 May
& 7 June 2008
pre-tour meetings were held to prepare the teacher participants for
5th Peace & Reconciliation
Study Tour to
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
Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to
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
18 August 2008 Invited to introduce ALPHA’s work at the morning news program of AM1470.
21 October 2008
held at BC Teachers’ Federation for launching the Korean drama,
NABI – “Comfort Women”. After
its critically acclaimed performance in
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
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
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
30 October 2008
Completion of the
Study Guide for teachers on Iris
Chang – The Rape of
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
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
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
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
· 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, visit http://archive.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.
· 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
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:-
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://archive.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
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:-
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 &
13 – 28 July 2011 The 2011 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour to Asia for Educators was participated by 39 teachers and volunteers from BC, Ontario, Edmonton, New Jersey and even one from Japan and Germany each. 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 Beijing, Harbin, Nanjing, Shanghai 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.
7 Sep 2011 BC ALPHA co-organize the book launch for Prof. John Price’s “Orienting Canada - Race, Empire and the Transpacific (UBC Press, 2011) at Fairmount Social Lounge, St. John College, UBC. The book was ten years in the making and brings alive the experiences of peoples on both sides of the Pacific in their struggles for justice and peace. John Price; St. John’s College principal Henry Yu; BC ALPHA president Thekla Lit; human rights lawyer Gary Caroline; Tatsuo Kage of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizen’s Association Human Rights Committee were speakers at the event to reflect on the past and prepare for our transpacific and global future. BC ALPHA sponsored the book sale and all proceeds would go to Mr. Shin Hyun-Chan, a Korean victim of racism and war crimes (chapter 12 of Orienting Empire) who continues his quest for restitution from the Canadian government.
18 – 20 Oct 2011 Representatives of BC ALPHA participated in the events held in Hong Kong to support the Chinese force labour survivors/descendents and their lawyers. The events, which included protests and negotiations at the offices of Mitsubishi and the Consulate of Japan in HK on Oct 18 and 19 and a press conference on Oct 20, were also covered in both HK and Mainland China media. Two influential Japanese news media, the Asahi Shimbun and the Daily Yomiuri, sent reporters to the events, but no report was published in their press.
According to Attorney Kang, 3512 Chinese labourers were abducted and sent to Mitsubishi work sites in Japan during the war for hard labour without any compensation.
21 Oct 2011 Information table was set up at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Provincial Conference at Vancouver Technical Secondary School as well as at BC Teachers for Peace & Global Education Provincial Conference at Fraser Heights 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. Also, promotion on the 3nd International Human Day Student Symposium – Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945 (IHRDSS) was also a main focus at the booth. BC ALPHA also sponsored a workshop conducted by a 2011 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour participating teacher, Marie-Josee Beaulieu at the Conference to introduce the IHRDSS.
20 Nov 2011 Interview Joy Kogawa for the making of a video message, Toward Peace & Reconciliation for the 2011 International Human Day Student Symposium – Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945. The video with Chinese and Japanese subtitles are also available in the following YouTube links:-
· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEQnGR8vLN0 (Japanese)
· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH5YqdR5HkM (Tradition Chinese)
· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c68MlMSGNAQ (Simplified Chinese)
8 & 9 December 2011 The 3rd International Human Rights Day Symposium: Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945 was held at Vancouver Technical Secondary School sponsored by Vancouver School Board. 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. A video of the symposium is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgUH-OAPoh8. English & Chinese news report are available at the following YouTube links:-
Teachers of Social Studies 11, History 12, Law 12 & Social Justice 12 registered to bring their students to attend the Symposium. A total of over 800 students and teachers from 21 secondary schools of 9 school districts participated in the Symposium with 3 plenary sessions and the 7 following workshops.:-
· “Comfort Women” & Violence Against Women in War & Peace
· Canadian Hong Kong veterans as POWs: Wounds and Closure
· Human Experimentations & Biochemical Warfare of Dr. Josef Mengele & Dr. Shiro Ishii - Role & Ethics of Medical Personnel and Scientists
· Rescuers and Global Citizenship in the Rape of Nanking
· Forgotten Holocaust – Atrocious Human Rights Violation and its Impact on Victims Now and Then
· Iris Chang - An Upstander for The Rape of Nanking, A Public Intellectual, Scholar Activist and Ongoing Inspiration
· Up Close with Survivors
14 December 2011 Toronto ALPHA organized a demonstration before the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa as part of the global action in solidarity with the survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery who also staged their 1000th Wednesday Demonstration on December 14. BC ALPHA sponsored the action by signing the open statement sent to the Japanese embassy, educating students on the issue through the IHRDSS and mobilized the public to support the grandmas via Twitter. A press release was issued to inform the public of these actions.
22 February 2012 On behalf Canada ALPHA, BC ALPHA issued a statement to strongly refute the blunt denial of the history of the Nanjing Massacre by Takashi Kawamura, Mayor of Nagoya, on February 20, 2012 at his meeting with a delegation of Nanjing. The statement is uploaded onto Youtube with Japanese subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVcA3p8FKlw.
1 March 2012 Application deadline for 2012 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour for Educators
26 April 2012 President of BC ALPHA was invited to speak at the Press Conference held at the Korean Society of B.C. calling on the Canadian government to address the claim of Mr. Hyun-Chan Shin for redress regarding the murder of his father and serious wounding of himself by a Canadian soldier during the Korean War. Other speakers including Professor Kim Dong-Choon, the civilian representative on South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005-2010), Gary Caroline, legal representative for Mr. Shin, University of Victoria professor John Price and Tatsuo Kage of Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizen’s Association Human Rights Committee) all stressed the importance of redress in order for reconciliation to take place. News are available from:
· http://www.thenownews.com/news/story.html?id=6528012 (English)
· http://news.singtao.ca/vancouver/2012-04-27/province1335523405d3834518.html (Chinese)
· http://www.mingpaovan.com/htm/News/20120427/vas3.htm (Chinese)
· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEx8t-AHUOY&feature=plcp (Korean)
· http://www.globalnational.com/GlobalNational/video/global+national+mandarin+apr+26/video.html?v=2227604066&p=1&s=dd#mandarin/video (from 8:40) (Global National TV Mandarin News)
6 May, 3 June & 30 June 2012 Three pre-tour meetings were/to be held to prepare the BC participants for the 2012 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour for Educators. Each of the meetings lasted for 4 hours to cover both academic discussion, teaching strategies and logistic preparations.
19 May 2012 President of BC ALPHA was invited to speak at the book launch of Tatsuo Kage’s book, “Uprooted Again: Japanese Canadians Move to Japan After World War II". The speech, Justice for All is available at Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us47fvqvxj4.
1 June 2012 President of BC ALPHA was interviewed by Global National TV Mandarin News to comments on the verdict made on May 24, 2012 by the Supreme Court of Korea which ruled in favour of the WWII Korean forced labours’ claim for compensation against the Japanese corporations. Details of the Korea Supreme Court news is available at http://tom.legal.people.com.cn/GB/18012030.html. The TV news is available at http://www.globalnational.com/GlobalNational/video/global+national+mandarin+jun+1/video.html?v=2241686591&p=3&s=dd&t=1247#mandarin/video (from 11:00)
18 June 2012 The following videos at Youtube were launched:-
· The Woman Who Could Not Forget by Ying Ying Chang - Book Launch in Vancouver June 2011
23 June 2012 Representatives of BC ALPHA were invited to the annual luncheon meeting of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (HKVCA). President of BC ALPHA was asked to present the certificate of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to the Educator Director of the HKVCA, BC Region for his contribution in educating the Canadians on the history of Canadian Hong Kong Veterans who had endured horrendous treatment during their captivity by the Imperial Japanese forces at the Battle of Hong Kong. Video interviews have been done with a surviving Hong Kong Veteran, Gerry as well as with the President of the HKVCA, BC Region for education purpose.