Rep. Doris Matsui

WASHINGTON – Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) issued the following statement on March 15 after the House of Representatives passed her bill, the Japanese American Confinement Education Act.

The legislation will permanently reauthorize the Japanese American Confinement Site (JACS) program to educate Americans on the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“The history of the Japanese American community is a story that cannot afford to be lost in time,” said Matsui. “This year marks the 80th anniversary of the authorization of Executive Order 9066. Yet too many Americans do not know the painful history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II. That is why it is crucial that we continue to lift up the voices of our past and teach our younger generations about the injustice and perseverance that have been woven into the Japanese American identity. This legislation will ensure that we continue to preserve our community’s story and educate Americans on this important history.”

The Japanese American Confinement Education Act will permanently reauthorize the JACS program within the National Park Service (NPS), which is currently set to expire this year. This program has been one of the primary resources in the preservation and interpretation of the U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.

Additionally, the legislation establishes a separate, new five-year, $2 million-per-year competitive grant to create educational materials about the Japanese American confinement. This grant would require the recipient museum to develop and nationally disseminate accurate, relevant, and accessible resources to improve awareness and understanding of Japanese American confinement in World War II.

Co-sponsors: Reps. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), Don Young (R-Alaska), Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) , Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-D.C.), Kaiali’I Kahele (D-Hawaii), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Nicolas San Michael (D-Guam), Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara), Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Josh Harder (D-Modesto), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), John Garamendi (D-Fairfield), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Ami Bera (D-Sacramento), Ed Case (D-Hawaii)

The Japanese American Confinement Education Act is supported by: Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Japanese American National Museum, JACS Consortium, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Fred T. Korematsu Institute, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP), Go For Broke National Education Center, Kizuna, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Full Spectrum Features, National Parks Conservation Association, Friends of Minidoka, Colorado Preservation, UCLA, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.

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