[sixties-l] Antiwar campaigners to donate documents to Vietnamese museum (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 17:51:36 EST

  • Next message: Jeffrey Blankfort: "Re: [sixties-l] [change-links] Huey P"

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 16:00:42 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Antiwar campaigners to donate documents to Vietnamese museum

    Antiwar campaigners to donate documents to Vietnamese museum


    Kyodo News
    The Japan Times: Feb. 16, 2002

    Members of a Japanese group that campaigned against the Vietnam War will
    visit Ho Chi Minh City later this month to donate materials and documents
    detailing their activities in the 1960s and 1970s to the state-run War
    Remnants Museum.
    About 30 members of the Japan Peace for Vietnam! Committee also plan to
    exchange views with Vietnamese politicians and intellectuals about how they
    see the 21st century following the events of Sept. 11, they said.
    The committee, known in Japan as Beheiren, campaigned vigorously against
    Tokyo's involvement in the war and helped U.S. deserters escape between
    1965 and 1974.
    Influential antiwar activists from around the world, including Jean-Paul
    Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Joan Baez and Noam Chomsky, supported the group.
    Last summer, committee members were approached by a college lecturer
    teaching Japanese in Vietnam and a Japanese travel agent who suggested they
    donate materials on the history of peace activities in Japan as the museum
    plans to expand soon.
    The facility has a section on antiwar materials from various countries, but
    there is little about the Japanese group, they said.
    "We thought donating Beheiren documents would be a good idea and started
    collecting them," said 53-year-old committee member Shinobu Yoshioka, a
    well-known nonfiction writer.
    According to the group, some 350,000 people visit the museum every year,
    including some 80,000 Japanese.
    The materials they have gathered include badges and posters with slogans
    against the Vietnam War, as well as journals published by pacifist soldiers
    stationed at U.S. military bases in Japan.
    "We also found a protest bib demanding the U.S. withdraw from Vietnam,"
    said Yoshioka. "A Japanese white-collar worker wore it for eight years on
    his daily commute."
    The committee had no formal membership system and anyone who participated
    could be called a member. Followers formed at least 381 groups at schools,
    workplaces and communities across Japan.
    Members have produced a 50-minute DVD for the museum that focuses on
    Japan's involvement in the war and how the committee opposed it.
    The disc features narrations in Vietnamese, Japanese and English for the
    benefit of visitors to the museum, Yoshioka said.
    The DVD says the group helped 20 U.S. deserters, in some cases by providing
    them with forged passports. It also says Japanese civic movements
    discovered civil disobedience through their activities.
    The Vietnam trip may become a reunion of Japanese activists, but Yoshioka
    said he wants it to help participants and Vietnamese they meet consider the
    current world situation.
    "I'm afraid that we have become insensitive to the fact that ordinary
    people are killed indiscriminately in military operations, as we have seen
    in Afghanistan recently," he said. "I hope we'll be able to talk with
    Vietnamese people, who endured hardships during the war, in order to
    sharpen our senses."
    He also said he expects the talks with Vietnamese intellectuals, including
    novelists, filmmakers and professors, to help them understand how the world
    will be in the future.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Feb 16 2002 - 18:19:57 EST