Zhao Zong Ren

Zhao Zong Ren is a Chinese citizen who was a victim of Japan’s system of forced labour during the Second World War.  He is actively seeking justice for the ways in which he was exploited and harmed during that distant conflict.  Mr. Zhao  – only 14 at the time – recalls being tortured by the Japanese, and he remembered a powerful incident where the many slave labourers stood up to the Japanese, threatening to go on strike to improve their situation.  As the war was drawing to a close, the Japanese agreed to their terms, a recognition of the wrongness of their system.  Still, Mr. Zhao feels that he and the other victims deserve more, something he continues to fight for as the Vice President of the Chinese Slave Laborer Association.

Mr. Zhao spoke to participants on the Alpha Education Peace and Reconciliation Tour in July 2017, with the hope that his story carries a message of social justice to future generations.  Translation was facilitated by Shelby Song, one of the tour participants.

In July 2017 Crestwood teacher Scott Masters took part in Alpha Education’s Peace and Reconciliation Tour.  Seventeen educators, activists, lawyers, and documentarians toured China and Korea, learning about the Asian perspective on the Second World War, and exploring ways to raise awareness of this side of the war to a non-Asian audience.  The tour was organized by Don Tow, as part of his ongoing efforts to stimulate social justice education and to improve Asian-American understanding and relationships.

Please note that this interview is in Chinese, with the English translation at the end of each segment.