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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour

*** The 2008 program is now over. If you are interested in the 2009 program, please see here. ***
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour

July 31 – August 10, 2008

A Special Invitation to UBC Students

Professor Atsushi Fujioka of Ritsumeikan University is pleased to extend a special invitation to up to three UBC students to participate in The Peace Exchange Tour. The Tour has been run successfully for the past 14 years, bringing together Japanese and North American students to learn from the history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Professor Fujioka offers a scholarship of 30,000 yen (approx. $300) to up to three UBC students.

Program Themes: Canadian participants visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, join students from Japan and the U.S., and work together to:

  • gain first-hand knowledge of the human, historical, and environmental impact of the atomic bombings;

  • learn about past and current international initiatives undertaken to eliminate nuclear weapons;
  • build close ties with one another to work collaboratively for a peaceful future.

Dates: July 31 (Thu.) – August 10 (Sun.), 2008

Destinations: Kyoto – Hiroshima – Nagasaki

Accompanying Faculty and Staff:
Professor Atsushi Fujioka, Ritsumeikan University, Department of Economics
Professor Peter Kuznick, American University, Nuclear Studies Institute
Koko Kondo, Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, and graduate of American University
Satoko Norimatsu, Interpreter and Canadian Coordinator

Program Description:
The world was shaken by the attack on World Trade Centers in New York, and by the U.S.-led war against Iraq. Tensions remain high in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula around the issue of nuclear development, and global military competition has expanded into Space. How can we straighten the tangled strings of hate and revenge, and find a way out from the vicious circle of violence and war?

Nobody can give an easy answer. Hiroshima and Nagasaki can, however, provide fertile starting points for thinking about these issues and can give us courage and wisdom for dealing with the challenges they pose. The objective of this program is to place ourselves squarely in these world-historically important places, commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombings, and join with students from around the world to explore what means we have to seek reconciliation among foes, the creation of peace, and the survival of humankind.

The debate over the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and its historical significance as the the dawning of the “Nuclear Age,” remains contentious. Wide gaps appear to remain among the understandings of American, Japanese and other Asian peoples. Ritsumeikan University and the American University in Washington, D.C. jointly developed and run this exchange program in order to fill these gaps. In 1995, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum cancelled its planned A-bomb exhibit. This incident motivated the American University to hold its own A-bomb exhibit and extend invitations to the Mayor of Hiroshima as well as many survivors. This event inspired the birth of this program, which this year marks its 14th anniversary.

The Peace Exchange Tour Program remains student-led: its past participants are actively involved with its planning and coordination. Key concerns for research and discussion include: 1) What happened under the mushroom clouds of the A-bombs? 2) Was A-bombing a ‘necessary evil,’ or a ‘malicious war crime’? 3) Is it possible to abolish nuclear weapons, or are they useful for security? 4) What can we do to overcome the vicious circle of hate and war, and to promote international understanding and cooperation?

There will be 10 to 15 U.S. participants who will apply through the American University. The main text for discussion will be John Hersey’s classic reportage “Hiroshima,” which first informed Americans of the horrific conditions in Hiroshima following the A-bombing. Accompanying this year’s participants will be Koko Kondo, who appears in Hersey’s book as the youngest baby hibakusha. Ms Kondo is the first daughter of Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, leader of the Hiroshima Maiden Project which brought young female hibakusha to the U.S. for treatment of facial scarring caused by a-bombing.

Program participants are expected to be engaged in peace studies, open to an experiential style of learning, and interested in learning more about the language and culture of Japan. The primary language of the tour will be English. Some Japanese participants will have beginner’s level English skills. North American students are requested to join their Japanese peers and communicate with compassion and mutual understanding.

Program Itinerary (subject to change):

July 31(Thu.) Arrival in Japan (Kansai Airport)
August 1(Fri) Sightseeing in Kyoto, and Welcome Party
August 2(Sat) Visit Ritsumeikan International Peace Museum, Workshop/Lecture
August 3(Sun) Visit the War Exhibit at Ritsumeikan International Peace
Museum, Workshop/Lecture, and a field trip in Kyoto
August 4(Mon) Leave for Hiroshima, visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
August 5(Tue) Visit sites referred to in John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” / mid-term debriefing
August 6(Wed) Attend the Hiroshima Memorial Ceremony, and visit with hibakusha
and related organizations
August 7(Thu) Discussion with the Mayor of Hiroshima / leave for Nagasaki / visit
the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
August 8 (Fri) Visit hibakusha / field trips to war-related sites in Nagasaki
August 9 (Sat) Memorial Ceremony at Shiroyama Elementary School / Attend
Nagasaki City’s Memorial Ceremony / visit Gunkan Island (optional)/
Farewell Party
August 10 (Sun) Wrap-up workshop / program ends in Nagasaki around noon

* For July 31st, program staff are able upon request to make meet-and-greet arrangements at Kansai (Osaka) International Airport. Following the end of the program around noon on August 10th participants will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements, though program staff will be available to give basic travel advice.

Required Reading: “Hiroshima” by John Hersey (1946, 1985), Random House

Program Fee: 46,000 yen
(approx. 460 Canadian dollars; will fluctuate according to changes in current exchange rates)

(*) Students who qualify for the Ritsumeikan subsidy of 30,000 yen (approx. $300) will be informed by program staff at the time of registration confirmation. Program fees for students receiving the subsidy will be 16,000 yen (approx. $160).

Program fee includes:

  • 10-night accommodation from the night of July 31st to August 9 (4 nights in Kyoto, 3 nights in Hiroshima, 3 nights in Nagasaki)

  • Costs associated with all group activities such as museum admission, local transportation, welcome and farewell parties, honoraria to guest speakers and staff, and all administrative and coordination costs.


Participating students are responsible for arranging and paying for the following:

  • Return airfare to and from Japan
  • Transportation within Japan from the point of arrival to Kyoto, and from Nagasaki to the point of departure
  • Overseas Travel Insurance
    (mandatory - UBC students, check your insurance coverage with AMS.)
  • One-week Japan Rail Pass valid from August 4 to 10
    *The pass can only be purchased OUTSIDE of Japan. Canadian participants must make their purchase
    PRIOR to departure.
    * The cost to participants of the Pass may vary according to Japan Rail price changes and current
    exchange rates. As of May 1, 2008, the Japan Rail price for a one-week pass is 28,300 yen, or
    approximately C$283.
  • All accommodation costs, other than the 10 nights included in the Program
  • All meals, other than meals for the Welcome Party and Farewell Party
  • All costs associated with activities such as sightseeing, small group field trips, and the
    optional visit to Gunkan Island in Nagasaki.
  • All other personal expenses

Eligibility: full-time UBC students (undergraduate or graduate) – up to three students. Program sponsors have limited candidacy to students whose country of origin is not Japan.
* Participants must hold a valid passport and visa necessary to enter and stay in Japan for the duration of the program. It is the responsibility of participants to check if visa is required to enter Japan with the passport that they hold.

Registration Procedure: Submit your CV (not more than 2 pages) and a cover letter describing why you would like to participate in this program and what you expect to gain from the experience.

Submission deadline: June 30, 2008. Send by email to Satoko Norimatsu info@peacephilosophy.com.

Note that the first qualified and confirmed candidates will be chosen to participate, so early registration is strongly recommended.

Program Inquiries:
Satoko Norimatsu, Canadian Coordinator
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour
Email: info@peacephilosophy.com Phone: 604-619-5627

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