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.

Updated Janurary 2019

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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 - Part 2

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South Pacific Area

Commanded by Admiral William Halsey, combat was centered on Guadalcanal, Bougainville and other parts of the Solomon Islands. Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti and New Caledonia, which were not occupied by Japan, served as Allied support bases. The following is an example of a skilled interrogator, Roy T. Uyehata, Gilroy, CA, as described by Dr. Stanley L. Falk and Dr. Warren M. Tsuneishi, MIS in the War Against Japan.

In February 1944, the U.S. 37th Infantry Division and the America Division of the XIV Corps fought the Japanese 6th Division from Kumamoto Prefecture. Uyehata …

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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 - Part 1

Washington, D.C.—When World War II began, the U.S. government and many Americans viewed all ethnic Japanese as potentially disloyal and collaborators of Imperial Japan. The War Department stopped enlisting Nisei and forcibly placed 110,000 ethnic Japanese residing along the Pacific Coast in internment camps guarded by sentries on the ground and from guard towers with machine guns. The Department of Justice and FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, concluded mass internment was not necessary. Army, Navy and FBI intelligence penetration of Japanese communities disclosed no subversive activities. Nevertheless, the White House and War Department gave in to the demands of prejudiced …

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Caucasian Officers’ Role as leaders of MIS Teams assigned to the Asia Pacific Theater During WW II

Washington, DC. “What are those two goddam Japs doing here? Shoot ‘em.”

Someone said, “No, they’re good Japs, working for us. Well, shoot ‘em anyway.”

The conversation occurred in 1942 in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, at XIV Corps, as Military Intelligence Service (MIS) linguists Shigeru Yamashita and Isao Kusuda walked by; American commanders as well as soldiers questioned the loyalty of Nisei and did not want them around. A major task of Caucasian MIS Team Leaders, with varying Japanese language skills, was to change this anti-Nisei bias. They also authenticated the Nisei, validated the accuracy of their translation or interrogation reports, …

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Nikkei Serve their Nation in all Wars since the Spanish American War; Filipinos and Chinese Preceded Japanese

Washington, DC. Nobuteru Harry Sumida, a Nisei, and eight Japanese nationals who enlisted in the US Navy as seamen were the first Nikkei to serve in the US armed forces. The men all served in the Spanish American War of 1898, when the US declared war on Spain, resulting in US acquisition of Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico, and removal of Spain as a Caribbean power. They were followed by Kenji Inomata, a Japanese national who joined the US Navy in 1906 and eventually received US citizenship. Remarkably, Inomata was the only known ethnic Japanese resident of Los Angeles exempt …

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Twelve Nisei Sank with USS Royal T. Frank Torpedoed by Japanese Submarine — Eight Nisei Survivors Also Survived Combat with 100th

Eight Nisei were saved and 12 were killed when a Japanese submarine torpedoed a US Army transport near Maui, Hawaii, on January 28, 1942, just seven months after the Pearl Harbor attack. A few months later the eight Nisei joined the 100th Infantry Battalion and miraculously survived nearly two years of combat in Europe. The 20 Nisei were among the 60 men aboard the USS Royal T. Frank, which transported military personnel, equipment and ammunition to the various islands of the Territory of Hawaii. The Nisei were returning to Hilo after basic training at Schofield Barracks, Honolulu.

The USS Frank, …

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