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


Gerald Yamada, JAVA President

July will be a busy month for JAVA. There are two important JAVA events in July that I ask the JAVA membership to support. The first event is the second annual Day of Affirmation to be held on July 15 at the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. This date will mark the 75th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman’s review of the returning 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) on the White House Ellipse on July 15, 1946. 

This event is called the “Day of Affirmation” by JAVA because President Truman’s salute to the Japanese American soldiers that "You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won…” affirms that all the Japanese American soldiers, men and women, who served during World War II are America’s heroes and removes any doubt that they are loyal citizens of the United States of America. 

The JAVA ceremony will include the presentation of a wreath at the Price of Freedom Wall.  The military escort for this year’s event is LT Caitlin Takahashi-Pipkin, MC, USNR, granddaughter of Kazuo and Fusa Takahashi. Kazuo Takahashi served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II and passed away in 1977. 

There will be two wreath bearers. One is Tyler Franklin, grandson of Kazuo and Fusa Takahashi. Fusa Takahashi is one of the original co-founders of the Stamp Our Story Campaign that successfully obtained the U.S. Postmaster General’s approval of the Go For Broke Japanese American Soldiers World War II Commemorative Stamp, that was first issued on June 3, 2021.

Ms. Michelle Amano is the other wreath bearer.  Ms. Amano is the granddaughter of Mike Masaoka, whose advocacy work with the government to allow Japanese Americans to serve again in the U.S. military resulted in the creation of the 442nd RCT. He was one of the first to volunteer to serve in the 442nd RCT together with his four brothers, one of whom was killed in action

The Day of Affirmation will be livestreamed via Facebook on July 15, 2021, at 12 noon (EST).  To watch, please visit the JAVA website at www.java-us.org

The second event is JAVA’s first luncheon meeting for 2021 to be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Peking Duck Gourmet Inn Restaurant, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041, starting at 11:30 am.  The cost is $30 per person.

The guest speaker for our luncheon is Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ray L. Oden, U.S. Army Special Forces, who is currently President of the Special Forces Association Chapter XI (SFA Chapter XI), “The National Capitol Chapter.”

At the July 24th meeting, we will also make several JAVA award presentations and announce the 2021 JAVA scholarship winners. After the luncheon, we will convene the annual General Membership Meeting and ask the general membership to approve by-law amendments that have been approved by the Executive Council. The proposed by-law amendments would:

  • Authorize a virtual general membership meeting if a health or safety crisis prevents holding an in-person general meeting;
  • Change the JAVA election of officers procedures to have the votes cast in advance of the general membership meeting instead at the meeting;
  • Authorize the JAVA President to hire an Executive Director in addition to the current authority to appoint an Executive Director;
  • Change the title of Regional Directors to Regional Representatives; and
  • Require Executive Council members and committee members to submit an annual conflict of interest statement.

If you can attend the July 24th luncheon meeting, please make your reservation with Neet Ford at javapotomac@gmail.com

Hope to see you at both events.


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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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Nisei Role as America’s “Eyes and Ears” Against Japan During War II and as a “Bridge” Between the Two Nations During the Occupation

Visit JAVA Research Archive to read New Article on Role of MIS in WWII by Clicking Here.

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