Memorandum for Record 23 February 2003
SUBJECT: Minutes of the February 2003 JAVA General Membership Meeting
1. The semI-annual Japanese American Veterans' Association (JAVA ) general membership meeting was convened at 1130 hours on 22 February 2003 at the Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Approximately 60 members attended the function.
2. Bert Mizusawa welcomed members and outlined the agenda. John Kiyonaga led the members in the pledge of allegiance, and Past President Phil Ishio led the invocation.
3. Conduct of the meeting.
a. Recognition of volunteers. Phil Ishio presented several members with certificates of appreciation for their volunteer work. He commended them for giving of their talents and for helping to make JAVA a success. Dave Buto was thanked for his web site work; Grant Hirabayashi was commended for his excellent photographs at Japanese American functions (Phil recommended that JAVA reimburse him for costs incurred)'; and Aki Konoshima was recognized for his outstanding work publishing the very informative JAVA Newsletter.
b. Need for volunteers. Bert underscored the importance that volunteers play in JAVA and stressed the need for additional volunteers. In particular, JAVA needs a volunteer to work social activities, someone to do administrative work, and a sergeant at arms to maintain the flags.
c. Accomplishments in last few years. Last few years were a zenith for the Japanese American community and JAVA: recognition of Asian American Medal of Honor recipients, Award of the Presidential Unit Citation to the MIS; dedication of the Japanese American National Memorial; and the opening of the National Japanese American Museum. For JAVA, it marked the need to look ahead and to tranform to the future. Membership must be expanded beyond the small number of members in the local area. Fundraising will become more important if JAVA is going to be able to support expanded activities.
d. New Vision for JAVA. Bert then recapped where we have been since last July (2002). Our organization has a great name in JAVA -- it is very recognizable. We are in a great location here in Washington, D.C. where so much that affects our interests occurs. We have many good people with good background and talents. Bert underscored that we need to mobilize what's been done in past to help what can we do in future -- the key will be to attract younger, new members, and expand beyond our local area. The Vision of the Executive Council is for JAVA to become an umbrella organization for Japanese American veterans organizations across the country. We need to look at new categories of membership, e.g., people from Hawaii, California, etc. Bert has met with Fred Murakami (Executive Committee of National Japanese American Veterans Council) and it is clear we are doing some of the same things -- we hope to be working with them as a coordinating body.
e. JAVA Award for Courage. The Executive Council is looking at creating a JAVA award for Courage - it would recognize various kinds of courage. We are working on a design and will need a solid fundraising organization.
f. Fundraising. We have several pending requests for JAVA funding support. The Executive Council needs to review all the requests because until we have a fundraising organization we have little influx of funds to offset expenditures.
g. Proposed change to JAVA Charter. Bert presented the arguments for changing our charter. Several things in the charter are outside the scope of the JAVA such as "supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States" which is a responsibility of the Armed Forces. These items have been proposed for deletion. More importantly, we need to change our charter to represent interests of greater community -- not just social events, but those that are viable and relevant to the future -- these may be supporting greater Japanese American representation in positions of leadership in local, state and federal government and industry; having a greater voice in local, state, and national issues. For this to occur, we need a greater membership whose voice will be heard and must be reckoned with. The revised charter supports a greater membership base and John Kiyonaga is working on a new LOGO to reach out to touch other organizations. If approved, JAVA leadership will register them with State of MD. The members voted to approved the changes.
Hawaii veterans clubs want to join our website
h. Library of Congress Oral History Project. Terry Shima has taken over the lead on this from Warren Tsuneishi. He strongly encouraged all to participate -- we need members cooperation. Congress requested LOC to collect oral histories of WWI, VN, Korean War, etc -- interviews are limited to 90 minutes, and will be available to all researchers. Some members have already done the interview…no re-interview is necessary unless desired. LOC will be the official repository of JAVA oral history. Participants will get a copy of what is recorded. The first step will be to identify who wants to be interviewed. This will be presented to the Executive Council regarding providing resources, and volunteers will conduct the interviews. Terry is not sure how long this will take -- but they will work as fast as possible. Warren added that the LOC effort is unique - They want not just veterans but anyone who can contribute who was involved (e.g., people who were interned, families, acquaintances who corresponded with internees, etc.).
i. Treasurer's report. Jack Tashiro reported the financial health. The following constitutes JAVA's finances:
Jack also reported on membership. We have 123 members -- 1/3 are from outside the local area. There are 83 from local area, but 48 have not paid dues. Since September, we have 8 new members plus a few that joined today: Mr. Shintani, K Kimura, Cathy Tanaka, Duvall Edwards, Cedrick Shimo, Horace and Joan Feldman (Camp Savage amd Camp Snelling), active military - Ken Tashiro , and MSGT Wayde Minami, Cal Taira , and Mr. Kaoru Shimabukuro.
j. Web site report.
1) Changes to the site. Dave Buto reported that since Feb 01, the site has had over 14,000 visitors (perhaps as many as 17,000 since its inception in Feb 00). Last Fall, we changed to a new web hosting company -- costs were cut I half from $20 to $9 per month. The new company is Hawaii-based and recognizing Nisei veterans they gave us an additional discount. We changed layout and content of our site -- it is aligned to the new charter to become more umbrella organization and website. We reached out to 442nd veterans in Hawaii and have created web pages and merged content with ajawarvets.com. We have MIS and 442nd content and are seeking pictures and stories from members. We will publish present day photos for the membership page, pictures of the Internment Camps, MIS Language schools, JACL, 442nd, etc.
2) Archiving project. Sus and Fumi Yamamoto and Maggie Ikeda did 10 years of research that helped with the Medal of Honor recognition. Now there are boxes of paper documents in Hawaii, but they are widely or easily accessible. Ted Tsukiyama is seeking to continue archiving project and has agreed with my recommendation to go digital. He has been awaiting my guidance and recommendations. His veterans group is willing to help pay for some expenses and I expect to ask JAVA to assist with costs. This week I spoke to NARA digital archiving office and have gotten the information I need to begin establishing procedures. There is more work to do, but the next steps are to identify equipment needed (laptop, scanner, CD ROM burner), purchase the equipment, establish procedures, get volunteers, and begin research and digital archiving. We will merge the information that Hawaii archives, put them in a data base, and make them accessible on our website.
3) 442nd Reunion. Bert Mizusawa and Dave Buto will attend the 442nd 60th Reunion. We will enjoin those groups to join with us on our umbrella website. We will meet with Ted Tsukiyama's Archiving team and layout procedures, roles, responsibilities, costs. We will give a pitch to audience regarding getting their organizations organized to support web content,getting info on what they want their sites to look like, getting the word out about our site, garnering their support to help with RFIs, and promoting people using email and the internet.
k. Official History of the MIS. Stan Falk reported that Dr. James McNaughton has been working on the official history of MIS to be published by the Center for Military History. The final manuscript is being reviewed -- this takes time but we've come a long way and are nearly there. Stan has read the manuscript and it is very impressive
l. Guest speaker: Kay Kimura, currently consultant of homeland security, policy and security planning, member of SAIC industrial-based model, former staff director in the office of SecDef, a Retired Colonel, graduate of Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University.
Mr. Kimura gave a quick background on homeland security…it is a terrific challenge, with many unresolved issues -- we have been wrestling with terrorist threat for long time and there are many dichotomies: there is visa control on entry but follow-up of those who are admitted is defective; people are encouraged to have Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) gear but how would they know when to use it if there no detectors, or when to take it off with no monitors; why is there so much airport security, but none for trains? "Weapons of mass destruction" are really "weapons of mass casualties." Mass decontamination relies heavily on lots of water -- what if there is no access to water.
Challenge for homeland security is the fact that the critical resources required will always be insufficient for total number of claimants (victims) -- this has not been addressed yet by anyone. Someone needs to start an initiative -- homeland security systems framework. An architecture of all that is relevant to homeland security. Someone needs to start this but Mr. Kimura has not seen anything in that direction. Many politely listen and agree with concerns and conclusions - state and fed levels -- and very few dispute conclusion but there is little action taken to address the points made.
Mr. Kimura is proposing a Systems Framework - a global approach. He pointed out that it is better to fight the war on foreign soil, but if the attack comes to us, we need a nationally integrated and seamless approach, that is not tied to political boundaries -- one weakness is that all of deliberations only deal with local area/boundaries. His idea -- recommend to all entities involved in HS consider system of overlapping circles: each entity draws circle of responsibility and that it is mandatory to have mutual assistance plans authorized before problem occurs, not after. A model national infrastructure is needed -- how do we deal with loss of electricity, water, telephone, gas, food, energy distribution, health services, transportation systems, communications, agriculture, etc. -- we have many vulnerabilities, we are a "target rich environment." We need a database of all potential targets -- terrorists will hit least prepared target. We must make an investment to protect targets not react to the "threat of the month" -- airport, anthrax, smallpox, border security, dirty bombs.
Bert thanked Mr. Kimura for an excellent discussion of homeland security and he extended an offer of JAVA support to Mr. Kimura.
4. Phil Ishio gave the Benediction and the meeting was adjourned.