WASHINGTON – Starting in 2014, a $5,000 memorial scholarship honoring Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of public service, both in the military and in government, has been established by the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA).

Sen. Daniel Inouye
Sen. Daniel Inouye

This scholarship will differ from other JAVA scholarships in that an applicant must be a student who is enrolled in an undergraduate program or is enrolled or will be enrolled in a graduate program, and who can demonstrate that he or she will be pursuing a career in public service or in the military.

This special, annual scholarship will be funded from JAVA’s investment income as well as donations. The initiative won ready approval from JAVA’s Executive Committee and from Irene Hirano Inouye, the senator’s widow, and the Inouye Institute.

The creation of the Inouye scholarship was one of several changes that JAVA has made for 2014 to its popular and growing scholarship program.  The Inouye scholarship is the initiative of the outgoing chair of JAVA’s Scholarship Committee, Dr. Ray Murakami. He is being succeeded by Wade Ishimoto, who also serves as JAVA’s vice president.

JAVA is expanding the applicant pool this year. Descendants of Nisei veterans of World War II who served in 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, Army Women’s Corps, or Army Nurses Corps will now be eligible to apply in addition to descendants of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, or Military Intelligence Service.

Students who are “collaterally related” (e.g. descendant of a brother or sister) to World War II Nisei veterans would also now be eligible, as will past and present members of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, and U.S. Army Reserves who are in good standing and have served at least one year by the submission deadline of the application.

Undergraduates are likely to have interest in another major change in JAVA’s scholarship offerings. JAVA will offer a Founders Scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in the names of Phil and Douglas Ishio, father and son. Phil Ishio was the founder of JAVA. The Ishio scholarship will be offered for the first time exclusively to college undergraduates who have completed at least two years of studies.

In addition to the past JAVA memorial scholarships, funded at $1,500, JAVA will establish a scholarship in memory of Mitsugi Kasai, who actively worked to exhibit Japanese American World War II history memorabilia in the Salt Lake area of Utah until his death. Funding for this scholarship is provided through the special efforts of Judge Raymond Uno of Salt Lake City.

The complete requirements, rules, and application forms will be posted on the JAVA website (JAVADC.org) in early to mid-March, and details about the 2014 program will also be available at that time through the Round Robin (JAVA’s weekly email news bulletin) and in the Advocate (JAVA’s quarterly newsletter).

Persons interested in applying for scholarships, and others who have questions about the program, are asked to defer their inquiries until they have reviewed the published requirements, rules, and forms. As the final date for receiving applications will be Saturday, May 31, there should be ample time for inquiries.

The names of the awardees of the Inouye, Ishio and memorial scholarships will be announced at the annual JAVA scholarship luncheon. This year, the event is scheduled for July.

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