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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Study Tour 2011 - an Invitation to Canadian Students

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Studies Tour

July 30 – August 11, 2011

A Special Invitation to Canadian Students (Partial Scholarship Available)
(Note: For U.S. residents, please apply through
American University Nuclear Studies Institute.)

Note: the program fee has changed on March 8.

Professor Atsushi Fujioka of Ritsumeikan University is pleased to extend a special invitation to up to three Canadian students (students enrolled in a full-time program at a Canadian university or college) to participate in The Peace Exchange Tour. The Tour has been run successfully for the past 16 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 Canadian students. The Canadian participation in this tour will be coordinated by Satoko Norimatsu, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre in Vancouver, BC.

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

1) Gain first-hand knowledge of the human impact of atomic bombing,
2) Learn about the history of atomic bombing and its significance in the broad context of the World War II and post-war periods,
3) Learn about the past and current international movements to eliminate nuclear weapons, and
4) Build friendships between students from the US, Canada, Japan, China, Korea and beyond in order that they may begin to work together for a peaceful future.

Dates: July 30 (Sat.) – August 11(Thurs.), 2011

Destinations: Kyoto – Hiroshima – Nagasaki – Tokyo

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, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver, Canada

Program Description:
The world was shaken by the attack on World Trade Centers in New York, and by the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 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 66th 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 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 17th 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 about 20 students from Ritsumeikan University and 20 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 respect and mutual understanding.

Program Itinerary (subject to change):

July 30 (Sat.) Departure from Canada (or participants may choose to depart before July 30 and join the tour in Kyoto on July 31.)
July 31(Sun.) Arrival in Itami Airport, Osaka, Japan. Program starts in Kyoto.
August 1(Mon.) Sightseeing in Kyoto, and Welcome Party
August 2(Tue.) Visit Ritsumeikan International Peace Museum, Workshop/Lecture
August 3(Wed.) Visit the War Exhibit at Ritsumeikan International Peace Museum, Workshop/Lecture, and a field trip in Kyoto
August 4(Thur.) Leave for Hiroshima/visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
August 5(Fri.) Visit sites referred to in John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” / mid-term debriefing
August 6(Sat.) Attend the Hiroshima Memorial Ceremony, and visit with hibakusha and related organizations
August 7(Sun.) Discussion with the Mayor of Hiroshima / leave for Nagasaki / visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
August 8 (Mon.) Visit Hibakusha / field trips to war-related sites in Nagasaki
August 9 (Tue.) Memorial Ceremony at Shiroyama Elementary School / Attend Nagasaki City’s Memorial Ceremony / Farewell Party
August 10 (Wed.) Wrap-up workshop / program ends in Nagasaki around noon / take trains to Tokyo / overnight in Tokyo
August 11(Thur.) Optional program in Tokyo / Departure from Japan (or Canadian students
may choose to stay longer in Japan.)

Required Reading: “Hiroshima” by John Hersey (1946, 1985), Random House (other reading material will be recommended too to program participants.)

Program Fee: 59,000 yen (approx.700 Canadian dollars; will fluctuate according to changes in current exchange rates)

(*) Students who qualify for the Ritsumeikan subsidy of 30,000 yen (approx. $360) will be informed by program staff at the time of registration confirmation. Program fees for students receiving the subsidy will be 29,000 yen (approx. $340)

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 Tokyo to the point of departure
  • Overseas Travel Insurance (mandatory - check your insurance coverage with your university or college)
  • One-week Japan Rail Pass valid from August 4 to 10 (2-week one may be more convenient depending on your travel schedule before and after the program)
    *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 March 2011, the Japan Rail price for a one-week pass is 28,300 yen, or approximately C$310. For information on Japan Rail Pass, go to:
  • Accommodation cost of the overnight in Tokyo on August 10 ($60 - $100 expected. Participants may choose to make their own arrangement.),and any other nights over than the 10 nights of accommodation included in the program (July 31 – August 9).
  • 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 field trip in Nagasaki.
  • All other personal expenses
Eligibility: full-time students (undergraduate or graduate) at a Canadian university or college up to three students. Priority will be given to students who were born in a country other than Japan, and are coming back to Canada after the program ends to share their experience with the local community. Students are also required to attend one or two orientation meetings held in Vancouver late June or early July.

* 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. Send by email to Satoko Norimatsu . Due to the limited space, we will conduct an interview either by phone or in person. We will close application as soon as the three Canadian invitation spots are filled.

Program Inquiries:
Satoko Norimatsu
Director, Peace Philosophy Centre

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