Program Summary

“Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”  With the number of Issei rapidly dwindling and the Nisei generation at retirement age, the need for passage of a reparations bill was felt to be particularly urgent.  It was estimated that half of the internees had already passed away.

After the 6:30 pm reception at the Ken Nakaoka Center, the program began with music by Glenn Horiuchi’s ensemble Main Force and a welcome by Gardena City Councilman, Mas Fukai.  Congressman Mervyn Dymally, who in 1982 had introduced the first monetary reparations bill in Congress, gave an update on the current bills in Congress.  H.R. 442 (first introduced as H.R. 4110, the Civil Liberties Act of 1982, by Rep. Jim Wright) was re-introduced in January with 126 co-signers.  He said that more representatives needed to be persuaded to support the bill.  In the Senate, Senators Cranston and Matsunaga were also set to reintroduce their redress bill.

Alan Nishio, the NCRR speaker, talked about the need to visit members of Congress to convince them to sponsor the bills.  Support for reparations had come from many different groups.  Even the residents of Bruyeres, France, liberated from Nazi occupation by the all-Japanese American 442nd, urged President Reagan to sign the Civil Liberties Act of 1987.  From an assessment of Congress it appeared that the vote in the House could go either way, pass or fail.  NCRR concluded that one-to-one contact with the Congressmen might prove crucial to passage of the bill.  Representatives could be persuaded to vote for redress by the victims, the former incarcerated Japanese Americans.  Because NCRR’s Miya Iwataki worked in Congressman Dymally’s California office she would lay the groundwork for a NCRR lobbying trip to Washington DC.

Karen Ishizuka and Bob Nakamura premiered their film, “Conversations Before the War…After the War” a film about the effect of camp on internees.  Viewers, especially those formerly incarcerated, empathized with the characters in the film.

NCRR’s “Fighting Spirit Award” was presented to two community activists by Miya Iwataki.  Frank Emi, Heart Mountain internee, was one of the leaders of a group of men who fought the draft while incarcerated.  The members of the Fair Play Committee were arrested, convicted of refusing to serve in the military and sentenced to prison.  Frank was imprisoned at Leavenworth Penitentiary for 18 months while he appealed his case.  After 18 months his conviction was reversed.  Because he stood up for his rights and the rights of others unwilling to be drafted, Emi was honored with the “Fighting Spirit Award.”  The award was also presented to Reverend Paul Nakamura of the Torrance Lutheran Oriental Church for his tireless efforts to obtain the Lutheran Church’s support for redress.  Rev. Nakamura, an early member of the Los Angeles Community Coalition on Redress/Reparations, spoke at countless community gatherings and meetings of the Lutheran Pacific Southwest Synod.

In other support work NCRR was pleased to announce that the owners of the West Hollywood hair solon JAPSS changed the name of their business from JAPSS to JADSS.  Pressure from the West Hollywood City Council and NCRR’s petition drive forced the name change.  In the latter half of 1987 NCRR supported the Native American Big Mountain campaign to bring Hopi and Navajo together.
the residents of Bruyeres, France..., Rafu Shimpo,1/23/87
NCRR lobbying trip..., Rafu Shimpo, 4/28/87

Lutheran Church’s support..., Lutheran, 3/7/83

JAPSS changed name ..., NCRR Banner, 1987 (PDF)
Native American Big Mountain campaign.., NCRR Banner 1987 (PDF)