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Conscience and the Constitution
Who Writes History

The Heart Mountain resisters never asked for an apology. But after the U.S. apologized in 1988 for the constitutional violations of the expulsion and incarceration and paid token redress, the JACL began a 12-year process of examining its own wartime record. In that time several resolutions calling on JACL to acknowledge its ostracism of the resisters or apologize for its suppression of wartime resistance were introduced and defeated.

In one attempt at reconciliation, resisters Mits Koshiyama and Frank Emi were invited to speak at the 1994 JACL National Convention in Salt Lake City, but no action was taken and the JACL staff who invited them were later fired for this and other reasons. Another resolution in 1999 was killed at a regional JACL meeting in Central California, as seen in the documentary. An apology was finally approved by a 2-1 margin at the 2000 JACL National Convention in Monterey, California, after which several JACL old-timers stormed out of the meeting and vowed to cancel their memberships.

Documents and Video Get RealPlayer 
Nisei Resisters of Conscience Resolution
2000 JACL National Convention, Monterey, California

Adopted by a 2-1 margin on July 1, 2000, this vote occurred five weeks after the world premiere of "Conscience and the Constitution."
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Resisters speak to JACL National Convention
Salt Lake City, 1994 (1 minute, 22 seconds)

For the first time, Mits Koshiyama and Frank Emi were invited to explain the resisters' stand to a biennial JACL national convention.
video video: 56k | DSL

JACL Central California District Council
Merced, 1999

Delegate Shim Hiraoka explains why he voted against apology. (46 seconds)
video video: 56k | DSL

Delegate Tak Tsutsui explains why he voted against apology. (47 seconds)
video video: 56k | DSL

"Facts about the Nisei Resisters of Conscience Resolution," July 1, 2000
Article distributed by backers at the JACL National Convention
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"JACL Votes To Apologize to Nisei Resisters of World War II", July 7, 2000
Article by Sam Chu Lin, Rafu Shimpo and Asian Week
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"JACL National Council Approves Apology to Resisters of Conscience," July 7-13, 2000
Article by by Martha Nakagawa, Pacific Citizen.
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