Memorandum for Record 23 January 2001
SUBJECT: Minutes of the 13 January 2001 JAVA Executive Council
1. The JAVA Executive Council met on 13 January 2001 at Phil Ishio's home. Phil Ishio welcomed everyone. Attendees were: Phil Ishio, Mike Okusa, Fred Murakami, Calvin Ninomiya, Grant Ichikawa, Joe Ichiuji, Hank Wakabayashi, Norm Ikari, Stan Falk, Warren Tsuneishi, Gerald Yamada, Fumie Yamamoto, and Dave Buto.
2. Dave Buto read the minutes from the 19 August 1999 meeting. Mike Okusa gave the treasurer's report.
3. Mike Okusa assumed duties of treasurer in September. There had been three treasurers in the last year: Calvin Ninomiya, Max Yano, and Richard Omori so the books are confused…the bottom line matches, and the figures are as correct as possible. The final report will be submitted. Phil expressed sincere thanks to Mike Okusa for taking this tough job. The question arose whether or not to use calendar year for the fiscal year (current fiscal year begins in July; however, the group agreed to keep the fiscal year as it is. In order to keep the books straight regarding in which year the dues are applied, the treasurer will annotate the year in the books.
4. Cal reported the membership…116 members of which 2 to 3 have declined/died and 5 newcomers meant a slight increase.
a. Primary interest has been to see if we can maintain membership of organization. The group discussed proposals how to increase membership. Ideas included: Canvas other veterans' organizations to see if their members want to join JAVA and converse…not just Wash DC org -- but this does not add younger members to the group? Stan suggested we need to target veterans of other generations -- get a list of service people. Calvin added that we want participating members, and not just getting our numbers higher. The suggestion was made to go to Department of Veterans Affairs to find veterans. Grant added that the website it drawing interest -- we should continue to offer to publish personal accounts for veterans, because these people are tending to join JAVA as a result.
b. Fumi suggested the idea of offering a photograph of the Japanese American Memorial site and a rubbing of the names -- JAVA could ask for a contribution…need manpower to do this. We may be able to solicit from website but we will check with Cherry Tsutsumida regarding what is legit? Grant recommended getting Newspaper publicity on website as a means of getting the word out about it. Aki will put an article together. Also, Dave Buto indicated that other websites are a good source for referrals to our site -- we are on the 442nd web site and the NJAMF website, etc.
5. Regarding the general membership meeting, each table will have a leader who will find out who the others are. Everyone should wear name tags. The group discussed ideas to get better turn out and response to activities. Everyone should encourage people to attend luncheons. Someone recommended that the next issue of the newsletter have an envelope with a form from the treasurer. A pre-printed envelope would make responses easier. The suggestion was made for the newsletter to include an events calendar so people can plan ahead instead of reacting to last minute invitations. Dave Buto will put the calendar on the website.
6. Hank Wakabayashi pointed out that for the inauguration, VP-elect is hosting a reception for veterans. Hank has 50-60 tickets, but no spouses are invited. Civilian attire should be worn. We will use telephone tree to see who can attend. Hank will set aside 10 tickets for out-of-towners.
7. Joe Ichiugi talked about the Freedom walk for this year. They raised over $13,000 last year. JAVA's donation last year was $500. Gerald Yamada pointed out that the money this year is for a $5M education fund. Parenthetically, there is a new initiative to engage in identifying those who died in camp and inscribe their names in the wall…perhaps a second sculpture for babies/still born. Warren Tsuneishi suggested that a smaller donation would seem appropriate in relation to the smaller amount needed this year. It was agreed that JAVA would let the Freedom Walk group come to solicit and let JAVA hear what the conditions are this year.
8. Hank Wakabayashi reminded everyone of the National Day of Honor (NDH) -- President Clinton signed proclamation NDH for minority veterans of the country. Recognition is for Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, blacks, etc.… Last May, Stan participated by giving a talk at a local university. Hank and Fred attended the White House ceremony. Hank will keep in touch with the government to find out details of this year's observance.
9. Memorial Day ceremony. There was the possibility of opening the Japanese American Memorial at a Memorial Day ceremony; however, this may be pushed to another date. In November, they shut off the water to the fountain, so a date in September or October may be more appropriate.
10. Gala dinner for Sen Akaka. Hawaii and Southern California veterans' groups have honored him for his contribution in making the Medal of Honor awards possible as well as other key events. Based on Gerald Yamada's suggestion, the group agreed to first get a date reserved at Fort Myers or a suitable location, then invite the Senator. Congress goes into recess after Memorial Day -- JAVA will shoot for a date as close to Memorial Day as possible. We will invite French, British, Chinese, other Nisei vets, MIS veterans, etc. One possible date is Saturday, 19 May, Armed Forces Day. Gerald Yamada emphasized using a coalition of organizations as was done for the MOH reception…we must ensure the room is filled. Need to get other organizations to co-sponsor -- JACL, etc. We may need up to 400+ to attend. Possible locations include Ft McNair, Bolling AFB, Ft Myers.
11. Warren Tsuneishi spoke about an oral history project. Congress appropriated funds for a folk life project to capture the oral history of veterans. One staff member is on the job now. The process of capturing all the histories is being worked out, e.g., format, standards, etc. The effort is reaching out to veterans and organizations to start to accumulate oral histories. Warren spoke to the Go for Broke foundation, has "hunashi" (?) program. They have 125 veterans' accounts on tape…the goal is 500. The interviewer has spoken to holocaust interview teams for lessons learned…there is a deliberate and professional way of interviewing and photographing. Similar organizations in Washington state, Oregon, and Hawaii are taking oral histories. All have problems with funding for the future…it costs a lot to maintain the oral histories (including transcription fees, media, etc.). It is to the benefit for these various efforts to work with the Library of Congress. Plus, the information will be available to all. JAVA may want to cooperate once dimensions are known.
12. Aug 4-6 Salute to --- in Little Tokyo. Nisei week, parade honoring vets, then banquet on Friday night, hospitality suite for vets, no panel presentations, may be a post-reunion trip to Las Vegas ($93 / day). Like a reunion.
13. Phil discussed the need for a separate JAVA panel to orchestrate speakers. Joe Ichiuji and Norm Ikari suggested that a JAVA group was unnecessary since the JACL has done tremendous amount of work establishing a program -- brochures, library of material, overheads, etc. Phil wants to supplement the JACL activities. Norm and Joe want to simply add the JAVA speaker list to the JACL's roster.
14. January 24 at the Ripley Center, the Smithsonian Institution is sponsoring Bina Kiyonaga to talk about her book, My Spy. Time is 1800 or 1900, and is free.
15. Stan Falk discussed the work of Jim McNaughton, historian Defense Language Institute, on the MIS -- he was finally able to hire deputy and can spend more time on the book. There are projected nine chapters, plus an epilogue on the occupation of Japan and the Korea war. Six chapters are completed. Stan, Phil and Warren have seen drafts. Background includes Christy Field, Camp Savage, the 1942 & 1943 campaigns, Nisei/MIS in the army; the 1944 campaign. Fort Snelling, the 1945 campaign, and the end of the war, all look good. The depth of research is more than anyone else on this topic. It will be part of the official army books at the Center of Military History. The Chief Historian will set up a review panel -- Stan hopes to be on panel. The Chief Historian will suggest revisions, photos, mapping, etc. It is long, slow process -- but eventually it will get out and be published by Army.
16. Fumie Yamamoto described the work she, her husband Sus and Maggie Ikeda did at the National Archives. It was very interesting…enjoyable, but restrictive what you can take in and take out. The article on the website described the process. No purses are allowed and you must get an id card from main entrance. Everything checked…stuff taken in is stamped; no books are allowed. Photography is OK but record kept of what you photograph. You basically see an archivist who helps guide you. With key words, the archivist helps you locate info. Information requested is pulled only a couple times a day -- so you have to wait for material. You must also use their pens and paper.
17. Phil urged all members who were MIS to submit applications for the Presidential Unit Citation…Phil will have some ribbons, in case they are needed (but only when an application has been submitted).
18. The meeting adjourned at approximately 1230.