On November 12, 2020, a letter was sent to members of Congress to show support from the Japanese American community for HR40. Please find attached a letter from 45 Japanese American survivors of WWII American Incarceration Camps in support of HR40 to establish a commission to study Black reparations.
As you are familiar, during WWII, nearly 120,000 people of Japanese heritage, the majority of whom were US citizens, were incarcerated due to overt racism, wartime hysteria, and false charges of a national security threat. It is ironic that I submit this in the wake of Veterans Day, a time to remember especially the contributions of the segregated Japanese American service units of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who served in honor of the Constitution at a time when the Constitution failed them and their families.
The wartime injustices upon Japanese Americans were fully revealed by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. The findings of that commission determined the need for a long-overdue apology from the government and cash reparation for those who had been wronged. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed and signed into law by Ronald Reagan on August 10, 1988. Over 30 years later, African Americans who have been wronged by the enduring legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing systemic racist policies and realities remain uncompensated and their injustices without consideration by our government in accordance with their first amendment right to seek redress.
HR40 will be an important first step towards recognizing the need to address the stain of racism in our country both historic and ongoing, and how we can truly find freedom and justice for all.
Japanese Americans agree that We Can’t Wait any longer to end racial inequality.