Pacific Citizen, April 19-May 2, 2002
Show Support for Resisters Ceremony, Organizers Say
of a JACL ceremony recognizing the World War II resisters of conscience
say they have received over $8,000 in donations to go towards the May 11
event to be held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern
California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco.
have come both from within and outside of JACL, with individual members,
chapters, districts, current and past national JACL officers, veterans and
community members-at-large contributing, said Andy Noguchi, planning
committee co-chair and president of the Florin chapter.
planning committee has been uplifted by the generosity of grassroots JACL
members and community people, Noguchi said. We were initially
concerned and delayed by the lack of financial support from the national
JACL during its budget crisis.
this crisis, the planning committee has received two anonymous $1,000
donations, the largest so far, as well as a $500 donation. Contributions
are being used to cover the expenses of the program, and any leftover
monies will be used to promote further public education about the
am very happy with the donations weve received so far and have been
surprised by the large contributions. I think its great that people
feel that strongly about the ceremony, said Alan Teruya, planning
committee co-chair and NCWNPD governor. I think it means that these
members, chapters and districts in JACL are continuing the support they
gave the resolution when it passed in Monterey.
controversial resolution, which recognized the stance taken by the Nisei
resisters during WWII, was passed by a two-to-one vote by JACL chapters at
the 2000 National Convention in Monterey, Calif.
need to remember what the resolution does, Teruya said. It
apologizes for not acknowledging the resisters stand of protesting
the denial of constitutional rights and for the pain and bitterness this
advances in civil rights made in the second half of the 20th century have
shown us that there can be more than one way to stand up to an injustice,
without one way being right and another way being wrong, he
added. The national councils resolution recognizes that the
resisters made a principled stand in fighting for the rights of the
Japanese American community.
added, As the resolution states, though the JACL took a valid position
supporting military service, its failure to recognize the resisters
right to protest the mistreatment of Japanese Americans contributed to the
ostracism they suffered.
likened it to an estranged family working out its differences: When a
mistake is made in a family, you apologize and try to move forward with an
eye towards keeping your family united and strong. Thats what I believe
the JACL is doing today for the well being and defense of our community.
In an era of increasing racial backlash, Japan-bashing and hate crimes, we
cant afford to be divided. If the U.S. government and President Reagan
can admit a mistake and apologize, who says the JACL cant do so
also insisted the ceremony is not meant to be an affront to Nisei veterans
or veterans groups who believe an apology is not necessary. The
JACL is not asking any other organization to make an apology. This
wouldnt make sense since few Japanese American organizations today
existed back then.
confirmed for the Recognition and Reconciliation Ceremony are Congressman
Mike Honda, JACL National President Floyd Mori, Heart Mountain Fair Play
Committee leader Frank Emi, as well as resisters, veterans and religious
gifts will be given to each resister or family member of a deceased
resister who attends the ceremony, while educational displays will
highlight the story of this often misunderstood group.
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Updated: May 10, 2002