Conscience and the Constitution

Letters to the Editor
Pacific Citizen, June 7-20, 2002 

Hopefully to Help Reconciliation
by Hideo Tachibana

To help further reconciling and recognizing the resisters of conscience issues, I found a most profound and apropos book published in 1973 and written by Dr. Daniel I. Okimoto, born in the Santa Anita Assembly Center in 1942. The book is about being a Japanese American in Japan versus being a JA in the United States.

Although many of us Nisei served in Japan post World War II as GIs, I find Okimoto provides an amicus curiae point of view from his experience on the long-lasting issue and struggle between the group of veterans that had opposed the recognition and the resisters of conscience.

As an educator, Okimoto studied and learned about living the "American in Disguise" life in Japan; something I was not, as a GI who created more stares
and puzzlement to the people. What I found most interesting and significant
in the author's observations and comments was that the Nisei GIs opposing the
actions taken by the resisters were reacting more like the Japanese than the
resisters of conscience. In Japan, all physically fit males served in the
service. In America, conscientious objectors are recognized and served as
such, but the JA resisters were mislabeled, benigned and suffered needlessly.
Wherefore, I found their recognition on May 11 to be appropriate.

Hideo Tachibana

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Updated: June 7, 2002