JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION

The Japanese American Veterans' Association, Inc. (JAVA), is a fraternal and educational organization with many purposes: Preserving and strengthening comradeship among its members;  Perpetuating the memory and history of our departed comrades;  Educating the American public on the Japanese American experience during WWII; and Striving to obtain for veterans the full benefit of their entitlements as veterans.
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President's Message


October 4, 2020

By Gerald Yamada, JAVA President

I am honored to announce that JAVA’s Veterans Day Program has been selected by the Veterans Day National Committee, which is a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, as one of the “Veterans Day observances throughout the country that represents a fitting tribute to America’s heroes.”  You can find the listing on the Department of Veterans Affairs website at https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/  or https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/docs/2020-Veterans-Day-Regional-Sites.pdf.

In keeping with its long tradition, JAVA will sponsor the Veterans Day Program on, Wednesday, November 11th at the National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC.  RDML Andrew Sugimoto (USCG) will be our main Veterans Day Program speaker.  Currently, he serves as the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Intelligence.

The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation will be a co-sponsor again this year.  The program will start at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST, 9:00 am PST), rain or shine. 

There will be a substantial change to the program this year due to COVID-19 concerns.  The program will be live streamed via Facebook.  Viewers can go to the JAVA website at JAVA-US.org and clicking on the Veterans Day Program webpage.   Interested persons are encouraged to watch the program online via Facebook rather than attending in person due to COVID-19 concerns. 

At the last JAVA Executive Council meeting held on September 19, 2020, David Iwata was appointed as JAVA Regional Representative for Southern California and Lynn Mariano was appointed as JAVA Regional Representative for Hawaii.  We look forward to having Lynn and David joining the JAVA leadership team and having them help connect JAVA events with area members and other organizations

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 JAVA Member and 442nd Veteran, Terry Shima Speaks about the Japanese American Experience During World War II

Recently the Keese School Lecture Series featured former JAVA Executive Director and JAVA Terry Shima as a speaker at their continuing education series. By way of introduction it was noted that Terry was born and raised in Hawaii. He was drafted in to Army in 1944 and served in the 442nd RCT. After the war, Terry attended and graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and enjoyed a 30-year career in the Foreign Service with postings in the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. In 2012, President Obama awarded Terry the Presidential Citizens Medal.  After leaving his official post as Executive Director of JAVA, he has continued to support the research and publication of the Advocate and e-Advocate. In the video Terry explains the origins of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and MIS and highlights examples of Japanese American soldiers bravery and valor in an effort to prove their loyalty to the U.S.  Click here to watch or watch below.

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Brief History of WWII Internment Camps featuring JAVA Members 

In 2010 JAVA teamed up with Montgomery County Public Schools to produce a series of educational videos on the experience of Japanese Americans during WWII. The videos feature Gerald Yamada, Norman Ikari, Grant Hirabayashi, Grant Ichikawa, Mary Murakami, Kelly Kuwayama and Terry Shima. Watch below or click here to watch.

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