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Thursday, March 26, 2009

My guest lecture at Langara College

On Thursday March 26, I gave a talk in Dr. Nariko Takayanagi's class at Langara College as a guest lecturer. The topic was "Towards peace in Northeast Asia - Japanese people's initiatives." I covered a wide variety of topics and discussed how people, instead of governments, are working to create peace in Asia, including Article 9, peace museum movements (specifically those focused on Japanese atrocities in Asia like military sex slavery and Nanjing Massacre) that complement lack of modern history education in Japan, Japanese teachers' fight to resist growing nationalism in Japanese education, Mayors for Peace, an initiative by cities (not nations) for nuclear abolition, and various activities in Vancouver engaging different Asian communities. Here are some of the comments that I received:

  • I thought a majority of Japanese don't know or are not interested in Japan's atrocities due to its distorted history textbook. However, it was quite surprising to know many Japanese people actually work for peace of world and try to recover what Japan had done in the colonial period.
  • Inspiring to know Vancouver has many opportunity to engage in peace toward NE Asia.
  • I liked the information about the teachers who are punished for protesting the flag and national anthem.
  • It was very informative, highlighting the contrast between gov't and civilian actions and opinion regarding Article 9.
  • I think a lot of Japanese students must know the history correctly so that they have understanding how Korean/Chinese ancestors went through.

Thank you Nariko for inviting me to speak to your class. It was special to interact with so many young people who are eager to learn and to get involved.



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