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What is MPPC ?
What is Malay Peninsula Peace Cycle?

 Why not cycle in Singapore for 10 days in February 2010?
 We are going to cycle mainly in the Garden City, and partially in Johor Bahru, the southern town of Malaysia.  Occasionally riding an accompanying bus, we will visit several war remnants in the area.  It will be a significant and yet enjoyable cycling trip, sweating pleasantly, learning the history, and socializing with Chinese groups.
 Here is why we travel with bicycles.
 Peace Cycle was originated in summer 1986 between Osaka and Hiroshima, and spread to a nationwide peace movement in following years.  Malay Peninsula Peace Cycle is one version of it, running Thai, Malaysia and Singapore.  Having accomplished its original plan in October 2000 at its 4th leg, strong voices emerged among participants not to close MPPC but to continue the spirit.  As such, 5th through 7th MPPC have been implemented so far visiting new cenotaphs, etc., in the same area.  And here comes 8MPPC as a next trip.
 Malay Peninsula is the place where IJA rapidly invaded in the very beginning of the Asia Pacific WWII with bicycle troops.  On December 8, 1941, about 1 hour before attacking the Pearl Harbor, IJA forcibly landed on Singola (Songkhla today), Pattani, southern Thai, as well as Kota Bahru, northeastern town of Malaysia, from the sea.  Japan blatantly breached the Amicable Friendship Treaty between Thai and Japanese governments.  Rushing toward south after the landing, IJA dropped British colonized Singapore on February 15, 1942.  Rejoicing lantern marches were held all over Japan; Emperor Hirohito was very much pleased as well.
 The aim of the operation was to acquire oil in southern part of Sumatra island, opposite shore to the Malay Peninsula.  The typical transportation means of the IJA troops were bicycles; they were called bicycle troops.
Aside from killing Chinese people in Singapore right after February 15, a part of IJA returned to the Peninsula, and killed Chinese people in many places, trying to sweep Chinese groups of anti-Japanese.  Such scars of the Emperor’s army being still seen here and there, oral histories handed down, and events to remember the atrocities continued regularly.
 On the other hand in Japan, to our regret, there are rightist groups and politicians who believe and claim that Japan fought for the justice, which trend seems to expand year after year.  However, there are other people who think the tendency incongruous.
 MPPC has been repeating pilgrimage tours for atonement and peace within capacity as individual citizens and reflecting the past war, visiting with bicycles those sites where IJA’s bicycle troops committed massacre, wishing Japan would never be involved in war.




Our trails so far are as follows;    

First leg: Round trip of Bangkok-Kanchanaburi-Hellfire Pass (150km one way), from late November through early December 1994.

Second leg: Nakhon Si Thammarat (southern Thai)-Butterworth/Penang (Malaysia) (approx. 250km) in December 1996.

Third leg: Penang/Butterworth-Kuala Lumpur-Negeri Sembilan (approx. 380km) in November 1998.

Fourth leg: Kuala Lumpur-Negeri Sembilan-Malacca-Johor Bahru-Singapore (approx. 380km) in October 2000. Original plan of MPPC was fully accomplished with this trip.

Fifth leg: Kota Bahru. Flying back to KL, visited the cenotaph in Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan, another ones in Sungai Lui and Gemas Bahru, and then Malacca-Johor-Singapore. Participated in the ritual of Singapore on February 15, 2003.

Sixth leg: Kanchanaburi-Three Pagoda Pass along Thai-Burma Railway, and cenotaphs and war memorials on the way, plus Seri Thai Museum in Bangkok. Discovered Songkurai Bridge or the model of “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” in November 2005.

Seventh leg: Starting with the ritual in Penang and ending in Kuala Lumpur. In Perak, visited several cenotaphs for the first time as the Japanese, in November 2007.

For those who want to join the trip of MPPC without bicycles are welcome by riding an accompanying bus all the way.  In the past legs, about a third of the participants were of the bus group.  Anybody who shares the idea of MPPC is eligible to enlist.