This web-site is a collaboration between people in China and USA.
Origin of Project:The origin of the project began in 1991 when Mr. Tong Zeng, a concerned and patriotic Chinese(we may rewrite this sentence with different contents after we get some information from Mr. Tong/Ms. Meng), wrote an open letter that was published in several newspapers in China asking those Chinese people who had experienced atrocities under the Japanese military during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945) to write to him describing the atrocities. Within a couple of years, he received about 10,000 such letters from the victims or their relatives. This is why this project/website is called “10000 Cries for Justice.”
When word got out that these letters were pouring in to Mr. Tong’s office, many journalists and relatives of the authors/victims of these letters asked Mr. Tong to borrow many of these letters. Copying machines were not common in Chinese offices 20 years ago. As a result, thousands of letters were borrowed and were never returned to Mr. Tong. Although Mr. Tong recently published a letter in Chinese newspapers requesting those who have borrowed any of these letters to return them to him, due to the long elapsed period, so far he has not received any returned items. As a result, the number of letters still in Mr. Tong’s possession now numbers only around 5,000.
After more than 20 years without seeing any progress from Japan to face up to this part of history, Mr. Tong thought that publishing these personal accounts would provide powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government.
Origin of Collaborative Project:When reports about the existence of these letters reached the U.S., David Chai and Don Tow, both with extensive experience in community activities in the U.S., immediately contacted Mr. Tong to seek his agreement to establish a joint project to scan and digitize these letters and post them in a public website, with translation into English of a subset of the letters in the first release. More translations will be included in future releases. Mr. Tong agreed and assigned his chief assistant Ms. MengHuizhong to work with Chai and Tow, and the joint project was initiated in January 2014.
The Project consists of two teams:
- Beijing Team:Headed by Tong Zeng, with the team of several members under the management of MengHuizhong. [Need some input from Ms. Meng and Mr. Tong on what should be included here.]
- USA Team: Headed by David Chai and Don Tow. They set up a new non-profit educational organization in USA registered in the State of California, with Federal Internal Revenue Service approval as a 501 (c) (3) tax-deductible public charity organization. Its name is 10000 CRIES FOR JUSTICE.
Dr. Chai serves as the President of 10000 CRIES FOR JUSTICE. In addition, he has been very active in his communities, including serving as a Council member and Mayor of Holmdel, New Jersey. He served on the Board of many non-profits, such as the United Way of Monmouth County, Leadership New Jersey, a Senior Health Service in San Francisco, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) – San Mateo, etc. He was a co-founder and the first President of Chinese American Heroes. Additional bio can be found at: http://chineseamericanheroes.org/contact-us/mgmt-team/.
Dr. Tow serves as the Vice President and Secretary of 10000 CRIES FOR JUSTICE. He has been active in his communities, including serving as the President of the New Jersey Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (NJ-ALPHA). He also served for several years as a member of the Human Rights Commission of Middletown, New Jersey. He has organized several volunteer SAT tutoring programs for several high schools in New Jersey. In 1994 he was selected as a Fellow of the Leadership New Jersey. He also publishes his own website:www.dontow.com. More information about him can be found at: www.dontow.com/author/.
In addition to Drs. Chai and Towbeing on the Board of Directors, other members are Dr. George Koo [also serving as the Treasurer], Dr. Ying-Ying Chang, and Dr. Peter Stanek [who since passed away in October 2014].
The purpose of this collaborative project is to preserve in a digital archivethe collection of these thousands of originalpersonal accounts that Mr. Tong Zeng received more than 20 years ago from the victims of Japanese military atrocities. This digital archive provides powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government. This treasure of historical archive can also facilitate further research on these issues.