From Tue Aug 28 05:27:20 2001
From: Snehal Shingavi <>
Subject: [BRC-ANN] Conference on Japanese Wartime Atrocities
Precedence: bulk
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 21:43:37 -0400 (EDT)

50 years of denial: Japan and its wartime responsibilities

Conference announcement, 18 June 2001

September 6-9, 2001
Radisson Miyako Hotel
1625 Post Street
San Francisco, CA


The goal of this conference is to highlight the Japanese government's steadfast denial of its aggression and atrocities in the fourteen Asian countries it invaded and occupied during the Pacific War (1931-1945) and its continuing refusal to apologize and compensate for its crimes against humanity.

This historic international conference is being held concurrently with and in opposition to a planned celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Peace Treaty of 1951 (SF Peace Treaty) in San Francisco on September 6-9, 2001. This counter-conference will provide an opportunity for scholars and eyewitnesses from countries throughout Asia and the U.S. to share their research and experiences at the 50th anniversary. It will also bring Asian American community leaders together to focus on Japan's recalcitrance and unwillingness to acknowledge its unresolved wartime responsibilities, and on the U.S. government's obligations to ensure both justice and human rights for victims of the atrocities perpetrated by Japan. 50 YEARS OF DENIAL is sponsored by the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition and the U.C. Berkeley Department of Asian American Studies


The Japanese Imperial Army began its invasion of China and domination of Asia in the 1930s, long before the start of World War II. Historians estimate that by 1945 the Army had murdered 15-30 million civilians in China alone. Japanese imperialists committed atrocities on a scale that exceeded the extermination of European Jewry by Nazi Germany.

The Rape of Nanking is emblematic of Japan's WWII atrocities throughout Asia, which include the enslavement of the Comfort Women, and the germ and chemical warfare experimentation on humans by Unit 731.

The atrocities began as early as the Japanese Imperial Army's deployment in Korea. Young women were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery as Comfort Women. Forced to endure dozens of rapes each day, such women often committed suicide rather than live with this shame.

In China, men were taken prisoner and used by the notorious Unit 731 of the Japanese Army as laboratory subjects for barbaric bacteriological and chemical experiments. Unit 731 tested numerous poisons on their helpless victims, observing and recording their agonizing deaths.

The horrors of WWII are best symbolized by the Rape of Nanking episode. After Nanking fell to Japanese forces in December 1937, the Imperial Army murdered 150,000-300,000 unarmed civilians, including women and children. During a horrific period of six weeks, men were burned, buried alive, and used for target practice. Women were raped and killed. Infants were bayoneted in the arms of their parents. The current Japanese government steadfastly denies this orgy of murder and mayhem unleashed by the advancing Japanese Imperial Army.

The Japanese government has refused to acknowledge and apologize for its war crimes. To appease frequent protests, several Japanese prime ministers have offered personal regrets and expressions of remorse. These statements are totally inadequate as a substitute for a formal and unequivocal national apology by the Japanese government.

Instead, the Japanese government has attempted to rewrite the history of its sordid conduct during WWII by issuing school textbooks that deny the imperialist aggression, and make war heroes of the commanders who ordered or sanctioned the commission of war crimes.

The Japanese government evades its obligations by hiding behind the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and other bilateral international agreements. These treaties were simply politically expedient actions formulated to resolve issues between governments. The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty neither absolved Japan of its moral responsibility to its victims in Asia nor extinguished claims brought by the victims of these atrocities. Japan has been stonewalling legitimate demands for apology and reparation.


We have an outstanding list of speakers and participants. We have invited the Consuls General of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines, the Hon. Mike Honda of the U.S. House of Representatives, two former Korean comfort women, and many prominent scholars and community leaders. A preliminary conference schedule, as well as additional details regarding the conference, can be found at: <>


The discounted registration fee for students and young professionals is $50 for all three days of the conference. This fee includes reception, banquet, luncheon, and coffee breaks. There are three ways to register:

1) Send an e-mail to Please include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and which days you will be attending. Bring your $50 check payable to RNRC to the registration table on the day of the conference. It would be helpful but not mandatory if you include your organizational affiliation and position.

2) Send a letter with your name, address, organizational affiliation and position (optional), telephone number, e-mail address, which days you will be attending, and a $50 check payable to RNRC, to the following address:

RNRC 268 12th Avenue, Suite 8 San Francisco, CA 94118

3) Telephone (415) 374-8992 with the above information and pay at the registration table.

Waiver of registration fee: We would like everyone who is interested to be able to attend this important conference. If the registration fee represents a financial difficulty for you, please indicate this in your message.


The Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition (RNRC) is a non-profit, tax-exempt community-based organization that brings together a coalition of Asian American communities from the San Francisco Bay Area. It is dedicated to securing appropriate and timely redress from the Japanese government to rectify more than half a century of denial and injustice. The RNRC undertakes educational programs and community action to increase public awareness of the war crimes committed in Asia during WWII. It seeks to mobilize support for demands that Japan formally issue a national apology, and initiate meaningful reparations and just compensation for its victims. It is co-chaired by Superior Court Judge Lillian K. Sing and Dr. Clifford Yueda, M.D., former President of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).