to the Editor
Pacific Citizen, June 7-20, 2002
An Open Letter
by Yosh Kuromiya
On May 11, national JACL extended a landmark apology to the draft
of World War II for their prior insensitivity to the resisters' legitimate
demand for civil rights equity as a prior condition to military induction.
Those of the JACL who fought long and hard to bring this resolution to
fruition are to be commended for their commitment to the principles of
justice and human dignity, the very essence of a civil rights
The future credibility of the JACL as a civil rights organization hinges
the furtherance of similar commitments toward the ultimate reconciliation
all of Japanese America.
In this spirit of reconciliation, I would like to acknowledge the many
supporters of the resistance movement, some very vocal, such as the late
James Omura, who paid too great a price for his convictions, and Frank
who would pay any price for his convictions, and the many who are not so
vocal, but whose silent support we have always valued and has sustained us
these many years.
In particular, I give belated thanks to the many in Heart Mountain who
unselfishly donated to the Fair Play Committee to provide us with legal
counsel in our ill-fated challenge to government oppression. The parents
the resisters, undoubtedly, provided the bulk of the necessary funds, but
many, unrelated to the resisters, gave out of principle and I would guess,
out of a flickering hope for justice. Some had sons already in the
All this, when financial resources were extremely bleak and the future of
Japanese America even bleaker. Such nobility brings new meaning to the
"The Quiet American."
Understandably, many donations were anonymous; however, the FPC destroyed all records when threatened with charges of sedition, in order to protect the innocent. Thus, I never knew who you were and I know most are now gone.
Yet, it is important that it be known publicly how we resisters are deeply indebted for the sacrifices you made, and the moral resolve it engendered
in us when we needed it the most.
Heart Mountain Draft Resister
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Updated: June 7, 2002