JAVA Hails Truman Tribute of Nisei Combat Unit as Day of Affirmation

JAVA President Gerald Yamada at inaugural Day of Affirmation, National WWII Memorial, Washington, DC, July 15, 2020.  Photo: Neet Ford.
Seventy-four years ago, on July 15, 1946, at 12 noon, President Harry Truman reviewed the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at the Ellipse of the White House, following its march down Constitution Avenue, and decorated its colors with its seventh Presidential Unit Citation. The Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) commemorated the 1946 ceremony on July 15, 2020, at 12 noon, by laying a wreath at the Price of Freedom Wall, National World War II Memorial, in Washington, DC in honor of the Nisei soldiers who served in World War II.The review by President Truman was a historic event because the 442nd RCT was a segregated, all Japanese American combat unit, except for its officers.  Over its short history, the 442nd RCT created a combat record that is unmatched. The 442nd RCT was activated in 1943, while 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps.  Volunteers from these camps and Japanese Americans from Hawaii answered the call to form the 442nd RCT in 1943.For those who joined the 442nd RCT while imprisoned in the WRA camps, the 442nd RCT was their opportunity to fight prejudice at home.  The federal government’s harsh treatment and overt prejudice against them would not diminish their belief in the American dream that brought their immigrant parents to this country. President Truman praised the 442nd RCT by stating:”You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won. Keep up that fight, and we will continue to win – to make this great Republic stand for just what the Constitution says it stands for: the welfare of all the people all the time.”In his opening remarks at the Ceremonial Plaza, JAVA President Gerald Yamada said that, “In his salute, President Truman honored the 442nd RCT’s valor in fighting America’s enemies abroad.  More importantly, he congratulated them on winning their fight against prejudice at home. “In doing so,President Truman affirmed that the soldiers standing before him were loyal Americans, thereby removing the stigma of being treated as “non-aliens,” He affirmed that their decision — to put country first — was the way to win the fight against prejudice, andHe affirmed that they were entitled to share in America’s opportunities and to receive equal treatment under the Constitution.“President Truman’s salute was the critical turning point for Japanese Americans.  It marks the decisive point that Japanese Americans, by keeping their faith in America, started winning the war against prejudice.  This is why we call today – July 15th — the Day of Affirmation.”The legacy embodied in President Truman’s salute was credited by Yamada to not only the 442nd RCT but also to:   The 100th Infantry Battalion from Hawaii, which was activated in 1942 and fought in Italy for 9 months, creating its own exemplary combat record, before being attached to the 442nd RCT in 1944,The Military Intelligence Service which provided linguistic support to American and Allied forces in the Pacific war zone, andThe 1399th Engineering Construction Battalion, which served in Hawaii to rebuild Pearl Harbor and completed 54 construction projects that were critical to the defense of the Islands against further Japanese invasion. Yamada also included the Japanese American women who volunteered to serve in the US military as a part of the legacy.Yamada concluded by saying “they all helped to forge the legacy from which Japanese Americans started to benefit and will continue to benefit in the future,” and he called “on all Americans to embrace their legacy — by keeping faith in America’s values and its future – especially in the most difficult of times, as did the Nisei soldiers.”

Salute, Price of Freedom Wall, National WWII Memorial, Washington, DC, L to R: Turner Kobayashi, LTC Brett Egusa, USAR, and Catherine Luette. Photo: Mrs. Chris DeRosa.
Following the opening remarks, LTC Brett Egusa (USAR) carried the wreath with a ribbon inscribed with “In Honor of the World War II Nisei Soldiers” from the Ceremonial Plaza to the Price of Freedom Wall.  Each gold star on the Freedom Wall represents 100 United States soldiers killed in action during World War II.  Eight of these stars are dedicated to the almost 800 Japanese Americans who were killed in action and the over 30 officers who served in the 442nd RCT and who were killed in action. Catherine Luette, daughter of Major Orville Shirey, who served with the 442nd RCT, and Turner Kobayashi, son of Key Kobayashi, who served with the Military Intelligence Service, accompanied the wreath. When the wreath was set in place, each of the wreath bearers touch the wreath before taking their place facing the Freedom Wall.  Everyone was asked to face the Freedom Wall, bow their heads, and observe a moment of silence.  The moment of silence ended when Yamada stated: “For those who served, thank you for your service.”  The sounding of taps by a US Army bugler followed, which concluded the Day of Affirmation program.     In support of the Day of Affirmation, the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance held a floral tribute 3 hours later on the same day at the Japanese American National War Memorial Court in Los Angeles at 12 noon (Pacific Coast time). The JAVA Day of Affirmation ceremony may be viewed by going to the JAVA website at and clicking on the Day of Affirmation webpage. 

U.S. Army Band bugler playing taps, Day of Affirmation, National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC, July 15, 2020. Following the presentation of the wreath at the Price of Freedom Wall, MSG Matthew Byrne, U.S. Army Band, sounded the solemn notes of Taps. Photo credit: Nicole Yamada. Watch the playing of Taps by clicking here. Video credit: Nakahiro Iwata.
Day of Affirmation Presentation at  the Japanese American National War Memorial Court, Los Angeles, CA
Day of Affirmation Floral Presentation by the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, WWII Wall of Memorial Court, Little Tokyo, CA. Photo: Ken Hayashi. In support of JAVA’s inaugural Day of Affirmation, the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance paid tribute to the Nisei soldiers with a floral presentation. Ken Hayashi, President of the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, described the group’s sentiments stating, [a]s Sansei, we understand that the courage and patriotism of the Nisei soldiers opened the doors to America for our generation and those to come.  We are honored to join you in your tribute to them on the 74th anniversary of the day that our President also understood the true magnitude of what they did.” David Miyoshi, a Vietnam Vet presented a red, white, and blue floral wreath with a banner inscribed with “Welcome Home 100th/442nd, July 15, 1946”  at the WWII Wall of the Memorial Court and moment of silence followed at the Japanese American National War Memorial Court, Los Angeles, CA on July 15, 2020 at 12 noon Pacific Time.  The presentation has been placed on their website,  JAVA is grateful to the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance’s help in recognizing the sacrifices made by the Nisei soldiers and their recognition by President Truman 74 years ago on July 15th.
Wreath Detail, Day of Affirmation Floral Presentation by the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, WWII Wall of Memorial Court, Little Tokyo, CA. Photo: Ken Hayashi. 
Rafu Shimpo Advertisement Gives Japanese Readers Background on Day of Affirmation 
Ad Design and Publication July 11, 20020. Credit: Rafu Shimpo.Mr. Hiro Watanabe, owner of Red Shell Foods, known for their miso salad dressing, took out a full-page advertisement in the Rafu Shimpo that featured a translation Gerald Yamada’s Day of Affirmation statement and recognition of the moment of silence on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Mr. Watanabe strongly believes that natives of Japan, especially those living in the United States, should be aware of the significant contributions made by Japanese Americans serving in the armed forces during World War II.
The Tokyo Shimbun Covers the Day of Affirmation
Nakahiro Iwata, the Washington Bureau Chief of The Tokyo Shimbun and a frequent guest at JAVA luncheons, covered the Day of Affirmation for the Tokyo daily newspaper. Google offered the following English translation of his story:”[Washington = Iwata Nakahiro] A ceremony (sponsored by the Japanese American Veterans Association) commemorating the return of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which consisted of Japanese Nisei who fought on the European front during World War II. The event took place at the World War II Memorial in Washington on the 15th of July.”Nikkei were discriminated against as “enemy foreigners” during the war, and about 120,000 were sent to concentration camps. The second-generation troops fought valiantly with the slogan “GO FOR BROKE!” to show their loyalty to their country. On July 15, 1946, President Truman held a welcoming ceremony for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in a park south of the White House, stating, “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won.” “The commemorative ceremony sponsored by the association is the first time this year. Gerald Yamada, 76, said, “In honor of President Truman, Nikkei were able to dispel stigma,” and a wreath was dedicated to the monument. Due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the format where many people participated was forgotten, and the ceremony was broadcasted live through the membership exchange site (SNS). Mr. Yamada said, ‘We are now based on the achievements and sacrifices of our predecessors. We would like to standardize the ceremony in the future.'”Mr. Iwata’s article in Japanese can we viewed here:

Much Thanks to the Many Organizations who Supported the Day of Affirmation with Coverage of the Event!


JACL DC News Notes

Hawaii Pacific Press 

Pacific Citizen

Puka Puka Parade

Rafu Shimpo

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Center for Minority Veterans

JAVA Hosts Virtual Scholarship Awards Ceremony
Virtual Gathering for the JAVA Scholarship Awards Program on Zoom July 18, 2020. 
With the traditional JAVA Scholarship Luncheon canceled due to public health concerns, this summer, the JAVA Scholarship Committee and Executive Committee established the inaugural virtual awards ceremony which was held on July 18, 2020. The online platform was especially meaningful as it allowed scholarship awardees and their families, and donor families to gather online from all over – National Capital Region, New York, Ohio, California, Washington, Hawaii, and even Italy. Meanwhile, other JAVA members and friends tuned in to the ceremony in real-time on Facebook.Executive Committee member Jason Kuroiwa was the Master of Ceremonies for the event which began with JAVA President Gerald Yamada extending a welcome and congratulations to the awardees. Next, Scholarship Committee Chair Mrs. Chris DeRosa paid tribute to the men and women for whom the scholarships are named and then highlighted the academic and extracurricular achievements of the scholarship winners. Not surprisingly, the awardees are an impressive group.From a former Fulbright fellow to a three-time History Day qualifier to a Girl Scout Ambassador Gold Awardee, the scholarship winners have pursued excellence. Many of the winners spoke about their Nisei heritage and the honor they felt in receiving a JAVA scholarship. Several donors then gave well wishes to the group.Other highlights include:Greeting with a heartfelt “Buona sera!,” from Pietrasanta, Italy, Dr. Ann Bugliani explained that the town was liberated by the 442nd and her husband, Americo Bugliani “carried the Nisei in his heart his entire life” and was “forever grateful” to Paul Sakamoto and the brave men of the 442nd.Kei Hirabayashi of Sacramento, California, expressed her appreciation to JAVA and sent her best to the students as they pursue their educational goals.A video clip of JAVA member Mary Murakami sharing lessons of resilience learned while incarcerated at Topaz internment camp.An inspirational audio message from former JAVA Executive Director and 442nd veteran Terry Shima who remarked: “These scholarships connect you to the WW II veterans… I hope you will cherish your JAVA scholarships, which, while small in monetary value, have huge intrinsic value. Nisei proved their loyalty. They are now legendary. Sansei and Yonsei achievements have been outstanding. Good luck on your academic journey and your anticipated professional contribution to the Greatness of America.”The program came to a close with Wade Ishimoto, in his wonderful baritone voice, leading the group in “God Bless America!”By offering 13 scholarships totaling $25,000 to these incredibly bright and talented students, JAVA is confident that the legacy of World War II Nisei soldiers will be carried forward to the next generation, making America a better and more just society.The JAVA Memorial Scholarship Awards Ceremony was recorded and can be viewed on JAVA’s Facebook page by clicking here. It may also be viewed by on Vimeo by clicking here.
CAPT Wade Ishimoto, USA (Ret) leads group in “God Bless America.” 
“You Got This” JAVA Member Mary Murakami Talks Camp and Quarantine
Click Here to Watch Mary’s Message of Resilience!AARP recently featured JAVA Member and Community Advocate Mary Murakami in a video clip titled Quarantine Diaries. In the video, Mary tells how the resilience she built while incarcerated with her family at the Topaz, Utah Internment Camp helped to power her through other challenges in life including earning her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, working in public health, and fighting injustice as a community advocate and now through the trials of quarantine life. 
Terry Shima Shares Thoughts on Operation Grapeshot (Italian Spring Offensive) 75th Anniversary Commemoration with the Friends of the WWII Memorial
Click Here to Hear Terry’s Comments (at minute 8:06)!The Friends of the World War II Memorial have held events such as the 75th  Anniversary Commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 2016 and will soon commemorate Victory over Japan (V-J) Day on September 2, 2020. In the spring of 2020, JAVA member and 442nd veteran Terry Shima shared his thoughts on Operation Grapeshot, the spring 1945 offensive in Italy that was the final Allied attack in the Italian Campaign. Operation Grapeshot commenced on April 6, 1945 and ended on May 2,1945 with the surrender of Germans in Italy. Click to see the Friends of WWII commemoration with Terry Shima speaking at minute 8:06. 
Protecting First Amendment and DC Monuments
 DC National Guard, Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Capt. Jason Yee, DC ANG.From the end of May until mid-June, JAVA Members Major Renee Lee and Captain Jason Yee were activated by the DC Air National Guard to safeguard some of our National Monuments from vandalism, ensure the First Amendment right to assemble, and protect people & property in DC. Jason was troop commander of the unit protecting the Lincoln, Vietnam War, and Korean War Memorials augmenting the Park Police. Renee also had to don protective gear, and she was part of a unit protecting an area near City Center in downtown DC.  After the protests became more peaceful, they provided logistics support and airlift back home for over 4,000 National Guardsmen from 11 other states.
Major Renee Lee, DC ANG. Photo: Capt. Jason Yee, DC ANG.
Clifford to become North Augusta City Administrator
COL Jim CliffordWade IshimotoOn July 17, 2020, Colonel Jim Clifford relinquished command as the Installation Commander of Fort Gordon, GA.  Jim is the husband of JAVA Life Member Hannah Clifford, who is a West Point graduate.  Jim, Hannah, and their two children will cross the Savannah River and Jim will soon retire and begin his second career as the City Administrator for North Augusta, South Carolina.At Fort Gordon, Colonel Clifford synchronized $1.6 billion in construction as the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command relocated from Fort Belvoir, VA, to Fort Gordon.  He oversaw the living and working conditions for 30,000 personnel at Fort Gordon as its Installation Commander.Clifford began his military career in 1994 after graduating from Rutgers University. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Eisenhower School in Washington, D.C. He served more than 25 years in the military, including combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and other global hot spots, earning him numerous honors including the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free Fall Badge, and foreign jump wings from Jordan, Honduras, Germany and Latvia.Hannah’s deceased father was Episcopal Bishop Richard Chang, a high school classmate of Wade Ishimoto and close friend.  Hannah has her own cybersecurity company and looks forward to Jim becoming the City Administrator in mid-August 2020.
PVT Torao Migita, First Japanese American Soldier Killed in WW II
PVT Migita is interred at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.”  Photo: Mark Matsunaga.JAVA Research TeamPEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Imperial Japan’s two-hour aerial attack on Pearl Harbor and other Oahu bases on December 7, 1941 killed 2,341 U.S. military persons and wounded 1,143. It also resulted in the death of dozens of civilians. Many more were wounded. Civilian casualty figures vary from 49 — the civilian names listed on the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center — to 68. The official territorial history, “Hawaii’s War Years,” states, “Of Oahu’s civilian population, at least 57 are known to have been killed, nearly 50 required hospitalization, and about 230 were less seriously injured.” Persons of Japanese descent – Nikkei – made up roughly one-third of the casualties, in line with their share of Hawaii’s population at the time. Two civilian workers died at Pearl Harbor in the air raid. A few attackers strafed or bombed the plantation towns of Ewa, Waipahu and Wahiawa, killing several people and wounding dozens. Far worse was caused in urban Honolulu by anti-aircraft fire from ships at Pearl Harbor. Investigators found that scores of errant or improperly fused 5-inch Navy shells, after missing their aerial targets, became artillery and exploded where they fell. One struck a crowded neighborhood at King and McCully streets, killing four people: 19-year-old Hayako Ohta, her 3-month-old daughter and 21-year-old sister, and Kisa Hatate, a single mother of three. Fires from that blast destroyed an entire block and damaged nearby Lunalilo School. Another Navy round fell on the Cherry Blossom Sweet Shop at Kukui Street and Nuuanu Avenue, killing owner Jitsuo Hirasaki, all three of his young children, his nephew, and seven young customers. The first American soldier of Japanese ancestry killed in the war was Army PVT Torao Migita, 27, who was on weekend leave and died rushing to report for duty. Born in Kalihiwai, Kauai, Migita was a housepainter who was drafted in June 1941. He was assigned to the 298th Infantry Regiment, a former National Guard unit that had been federalized in late 1940.Migita’s family lived on Weaver Lane, near the site of today’s Hawaii State Capitol. “He was home on leave the night before the attack,” Migita’s brother Kiyoshi Kaneko said in 1943. “The next morning when the radio flashed the order for servicemen to report immediately to their post, Torao rushed out to the (nearby) Army and Navy YMCA for transportation back to Schofield Barracks where his company was stationed. “That was the last I saw of him — alive, because that afternoon when I saw the casualty list in the newspaper, I saw his name among the dead. Early next morning we made the rounds of the mortuaries in the city and finally found his body,” Kaneko said.Their mother received a letter from Lt. Gen. Walter Short, commander of the Hawaiian Department: “It is with deepest regret that I have just learned that your son was killed in action last Sunday, December 7, 1941, during the bombing of Wheeler Field. Private Torao Migita was a loyal and faithful soldier and one of the first to give his life in the war…” In July 1943, the family received his Purple Heart and a letter of condolence from Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Migita’s place of death was listed as Wheeler Field until, decades later, researchers discovered records indicating conclusively that he was killed by “friendly fire” in downtown Honolulu.Migita was one of 2,000 American soldiers of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii when the war began. In mid-1942, 1,400 of them were sent to the continent as the 100 th Infantry Battalion (Separate). Their fine record helped convince the War Department to establish the larger 442 nd Regimental Combat Team.In late December 1941, Japanese submarines surfaced off Kahului, Maui; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Hilo, Hawaii and fired rounds from their deck guns at the harbors. On March 4, 1942, a Japanese flying boat dropped some bombs on Makiki Heights, overlooking Honolulu. None of these raids caused major injury or damage, but they were reminders to Hawaii’s nervous populace that it was on the front line of the war.On January 28, 1942, the Royal T. Frank, a small Army transport ship, was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Alenuihaha Channel between Maui and the Big Island. In addition to the crew, 26 draftees were aboard, bound for Hilo after basic training at Schofield. Seventeen of them were lost, along with 12 crewmen. Army censors did not allow local reporting of the loss. The nine surviving soldiers called themselves the Torpedo Gang. Eight of them were AJAs and went on to serve in the 100 th Infantry Battalion. Miraculously, all eight survived the battalion’s 20 months of combat in Italy and France. Another of Torao Migita’s brothers, Noboru Kaneko, also served in the 100th and was wounded near Cassino.[EdNote:  JAVA Research Team appreciates the valuable substantive and editorial support provided by Mark Matsunaga, historian.]
PVT Torao Migita
Repatriation of WWII Mess Kits
Takaichi Family (left to right): son Dr. Steve and Mrs. Janis Takaichi, grandson Mike Takaichi great-granddaughter Lily, Mike’s wife Lauren and great-granddaughter Maggie. Photo: Takaichi Family.
Jeff Morita

Maritime-Alps (Southern) France — On January 19, 2019 Mr. Jean-Marie Torrelli, a French historian and resident of Menton, France provided JAVA photographs of World War II 100th/442nd veteran artifacts recovered by a fellow French historian and close associate Mr. Alfred Simoncini, also a Menton resident.  The unselfish intent — to repatriate the personal artifacts to direct-descendants of each 100th/442nd veteran.

The above photograph is the bottom-half of a U.S. military mess kit with a deeply hand inscribed “IDEN” “TAKAICHI”.  Ensuing research identified a Private First Class (PFC) Iden Grant Takaichi assigned to C “Charlie” Company, 100th Infantry Battalion.  Iden Grant Takaichi was born on August 25, 1924 to Mikanosuke ‘Peter’ Takaichi and Yaye (NEE:  Nishida) in San Jose, California.  In 1942, U.S. Presidential Executive Order 9066 incarcerated the Takaichi Family at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.  A few years later the family moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota where Iden’s brothers, Robert and Oliver Takaichi were also inducted into the U.S. Army and served with the 100th/442nd.  PFC Iden Grant Takaichi served honorably in the Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland Maritime Alps; and Po Valley Allied Offensive Campaigns.  From November 1944 thru March 1945, the 100th/442nd was heavily involved in the Rhineland-Maritime Alps where the partial mess kit was apparently misplaced, or lost.  The 100th/442nd was subsequently secretly ordered back to Italy to breakthrough the German Gothic Line.  Some 70+ years later PFC Takaichi’s partial mess kit was recovered in the vicinity of Castellar located between Menton and Sospel along the French and Italian Border.  Internet research identified Dr. Steven Takaichi, DDS, in Minnesota, as the son of 100th Infantry Battalion soldier, Dr. Iden Grant Takaichi, DDS. and email contact was established with the Takaichi Familly. Next, an e-introduction between Dr. Steven Takaichi, DDS, and Mr. Torrelli took place.  In June 2020, the partial mess kit was successfully repatriated to a Takaichi direct descendant.  
For the late Takaichi’s honorable U.S. military service the Takaichi Family posthumously received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.  Ongoing — a National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) validation request to replace PFC Iden Grant Takaichi’s World War II US military awards and decorations is pending and includes the Bronze Star Medal — Purple Heart Medal — American Campaign Medal — European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four (4) Bronze Campaign/Battle Stars —  World War II Victory Medal — Combat Infantryman Badge — Distinguished Unit Badge (currently known as the Presidential Unit Citation) — Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.  Dr. Iden Grant Takaichi, DDS, passed away on July 2, 2007 and rests eternally and honorably in International Falls, Minnesota.
The photograph above of a a metal canteen cup has, on opposite sides, a deeply hand inscribed “Hirose” and “Hawaii.”  Mr. Torrelli first identified the canteen cup as belonging to a different HIROSE.  However, the “Hawaii” did not match the initial Hirose’s home of record of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Ensuing research developed a signed World War II draft registration card for Mr. Yoshio Hirose of Hilo, then the Territory of Hawaii.  The draft registration card bore a similar signature ending in a distinct curly “e” as also etched into the canteen cup.  Multiple individuals reviewed and compared the canteen cup inscription, draft card signature and determined Private First Class (PFC) Yoshio Hirose was a match.  Hirose was an ‘original’ 100th Infantry Battalion veteran drafted on June 30, 1941.  Initially assigned to 2nd Platoon, E “Easy” Company, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), he was subsequently assigned to B “Baker” Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  From November 1944 thru March 1945, the 100th/442nd was heavily involved in the Rhineland-Maritime Alps Allied Offensive Campaign before ordered secretly back to Italy and breakthrough the German Gothic Line.  Seventy-plus years later PFC Hirose’s canteen cup was recovered in the vicinity of Castellar located between Menton and Sospel along the French and Italian Border.  An extensive online search for a Yoshio Hirose’s direct descendent ensued.  On May 3, 2020 direct contact was established with daughter Mrs. Cheryl (Hirose) Mokuau of Hilo, Hawaii and son Mr. Wesley Hirose of Southern California. Subsequently, an e-introduction between Cheryl and Mr. Torrelli took place.  On June 22, 2020 the successful repatriation of the canteen cup to a direct descendant in Hilo occurred.  PFC Hirose served honorably in the Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges, Rhineland-Maritime Alps; and Central Pacific Allied Offensive Campaigns.  For his honorable U.S. military service, the Hirose Family posthumously received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.  Ongoing — a National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) validation request to replace PFC Yoshio Hirose’s World War II U.S. military awards and decorations is pending and includes the Bronze Star Medal — Army Good Conduct Medal — America Defense Service Medal with Foreign Service Clasp — American Campaign Medal — Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one (1) Bronze Campaign/Service Star — European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four (4) Bronze Campaign/Service Stars — World War II Victory Medal — Presidential Unit Citation with two (2) Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster (signifies a 3rd award) — Combat Infantryman Badge — Expert Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar — Honorable Service Separation Button-World War II.  Mr Yoshio Hirose passed away on February 13, 2002 and rests eternally and honorably at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.
PFC Yoshio Hirose. Photo: Hirose Family.[Ed Note.  Since 2014, Morita, a retired US Army and Department of the Army Civilian (40-years total service) has meticulously researched and submitted 46 comprehensive French Légion d’honneur nomination packets for 100th/442nd Veterans.  To date, the Government of France has inducted 30 of the 46 veterans Morita has assisted into the National Order of the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest decoration.  Morita also assists with requesting U.S. replacement military awards and decorations and veteran’s military personnel file.  Morita ( welcomes any request for pro bono assistance.]  
Lawson Sakai Honored by Vosges Residents
On July 11, 2020 representatives of Chemin de la Paix et de la Liberte (Peace and Freedom Trail Association) paid tribute and offered condolences to Lawson Ichiro Sakai at the US Memorial in the Helladray Forest.  Sakai was recognized for visiting Bruyeres “a dozen times”.  L-R Jean-Albert Haby, Treasurer;  Martial Hilaire, President of Association and Deputy Mayor of Bruyeres; Jean-Pierre LaJony, Member; and Noel Henry, Member.  Photo: Sandra Tanamachi.
Marine Special Operations Change of Command
Major General Daniel Yoo, USA.CPT Wade Ishimoto, USA (Ret)On June 26, 2020, General David Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, presided over a change of command ceremony at Camp Lejeune, NC.  MajGen James Glynn took command of the Marine Special Operations Command from MajGen Daniel Yoo. General Yoo is believed to be the first American of Korean ancestry to be promoted to General Officer in the Marine Corps.  He certainly was the first Asian American to take command of the Marine Special Operations Command. General Yoo also retired from the U.S. Marine Corps.Prior to his change of command, General Yoo selected Captain Michael Lewis, son of Mae Nakamoto and grandson of former JAVA President Bob Nakamoto, to become the aide-de-camp for General Glynn.  Mike Lewis recently completed the Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School at Quantico, VA, before moving his family to Camp Lejeune, NC.  Mike is a JAVA Life Member.
Twenty Years Ago Mineta Confirmed as First Asian American Cabinet Secretary
Honorable Norman MinetaOn July 20, 2000, the Honorable Norman Mineta, an Honorary Chair of JAVA, became the first Asian American Cabinet Secretary.  He was confirmed as the Secretary of Commerce under the Administration of President William J. Clinton. Secretary Mineta later became the Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush and was the only Democratic cabinet secretary during the Bush Administration.
Portrait of Norman Yoshio Mineta, Artist: Everett Raymond Kinstler, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, ttps:// . To read more about the unveiling of the portrait please click this link
Rear Admiral Joe Vojvodich Retires from United States Coast Guard
Commandant, ADM Schultz presents RADM Vojvodich with his Retirement Certificate. On June 26, 2020, a ceremony marking JAVA member and Rear Admiral Joe Vojvodich’s retirement from the United States Coast Guard was held. Due to ongoing public health concerns, the ceremony was hosted online via Facebook Live, with Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz, presiding.
RADM Vojvodich with his family and ADM Schultz at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony.
JAVA Awards Committee Requesting Nominations
1.  The Courage, Honor, and Patriotism Award which honors a person who has (or organization in the public or private sector which have) demonstrated superior courage, honor, and patriotism (as exemplified by Nisei who served in the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat, Military Intelligence Service, and the US Army Air Corps as gunners during World War II), or performed outstanding work to benefit the nation – including Japanese Americans – over a sustained period of time.  Previous awardees have included Senator Akaka, Secretary Shinseki, the 100th Infantry Battalion, and Secretary Mineta.  This year’s awardee was LTG Michael Nagata.2.  The Terry T. Shima Leadership Award, which recognizes exemplary meritorious conduct in service and achievements in support of JAVA’s goals and missions, for veterans, and for leadership portrayed, and for outstanding visionary leadership.  Previous awardees have included Terry Shima and Grant Ichikawa.  This year’s awardee was William Houston.3.  The JAVA Veterans’ Advocate Award, which recognizes individuals who have supported JAVA’s perpetuation of the Japanese American World War II legacy.  Past awardees include Japanese Embassy Defense Attachés, Deputy Chiefs of Mission, and others who have distinguished themselves under the same criteria.  This year’s awardees were Judy Brubaker and Theresa Potterton, both with Spark Matsunaga Elementary School.4.  The Bronze Replica of the Nisei Soldier Congressional Gold Medal.  JAVA presents an inscribed bronze replica to individuals who provide sustained support to perpetuate the legacy of the Nisei who served in the 100th, 442nd, MIS, and in internment camps.  Past awardees have included Senator Akaka and Scott Monfils (Administrator of the Taubkin estate).  This year’s awardee was Roger Eaton. 5.  The JAVA Service Pin, which is presented to any individual who has served JAVA substantively over a considerable period of time.  Previous awardees include Metta Tanikawa and LTG Michael Nagata.For further information or questions about JAVA awards, please contact the JAVA Awards Committee through George Ishikata (