JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION

The Japanese American Veterans' Association, Inc. (JAVA), is a fraternal and educational organization with many purposes: Preserving and strengthening comradeship among its members;  Perpetuating the memory and history of our departed comrades;  Educating the American public on the Japanese American experience during WWII; and Striving to obtain for veterans the full benefit of their entitlements as veterans.
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ABOUT US.


Seeking Officer Nominations 

In accordance with JAVA’s by-laws, the Nominations Committee is preparing to nominate JAVA members for each of the four elected offices - President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. 

Should you desire to be considered for one of those positions, please submit your name and a short summary (no more than one page) of your qualifications and desire to run for any of the elected offices. The deadline for submission is Saturday, March 30, 2019. These Officers will serve a two-year term beginning in July 2019. Submissions should be sent to javapotomac@gmail.com.

CDR Ken Washington, USN 

Nominations Committee Chair



2019 Winter Quarterly Lunch

JAVA President Al Goshi, GEN Paul Nakasone, MG Garrett Yee
Aki's birthday cake with 95 candles
Quinn Goshi, Mari Anderson (Aki's daughter), Aki and Taro Konoshima
Mari Anderson, Aki and Taro Konoshima
E. Rod Azama introducing the guest speaker, GEN Nakasone
GEN Nakasone briefing (1)
GEN Nakasone briefing (2)
GEN Nakasone briefing (3)
GEN Paul Nakasone, JAVA President Al Goshi
GEN Paul Nakasone, JAVA President Al Goshi (2)
GEN Paul Nakasone, Rod Azama, Art Kim
JAVA President Al Goshi, GEN Paul Nakasone, MG Garrett Yee
VADM (Ret) Melvin Chiogioji, Bill Houston, CDR Ken Washington
JAVA President Al Goshi, JAVA President emeritus Gerald Yamada, Dr. James McNaughton
Mary Murakami, VADM (Ret) Melvin Chiogioji
Michelle Goshi, Quinn Goshi, Maj Jason Yee USAF Reserve
GEN Paul Nakasone, MG Garrett Yee
Aki and Taro Konoshima
S. Aiden Kuroda (Janelle's son)

On Saturday, January 26, 2019, JAVA members exchanged New Year’s greetings as they gathered at the Harvest Moon Restaurant for an outstanding Winter Quarterly Luncheon.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, VP Mark Nakagawa recognized some attendees, including JAVA member and guest speaker, General (GEN) Paul Nakasone, MG Garrett and Maria Yee, JAVA President emeritus Gerald and Nancy Yamada, Dr. James McNaughton, and all of the “first time” luncheon attendees.  He then shared memories of some of the JAVA members and supporters who passed away in the past year, and the group observed a moment of silence for all of our members who have departed.

Mary Murakami, widow of WWII veteran Dr. Ray Murakami, shared a wonderful benediction, and all enjoyed fellowship and a tasty meal. As Mark related, the menu selection we enjoyed during the luncheon was originally chosen by the late Grant Ichikawa, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, and JAVA traditionally enjoys this luncheon menu at its Harvest Moon gatherings.  A special surprise treat came for dessert – a birthday cake blazing with 95 candles, provided by Akio Konoshima’s family, Mari and Taro, allowing us to wish Aki “Happy Birthday” in word and song. 

Mari shared some details about how Aki and his family were interned in Heart Mountain camp during WWII, his service in the U.S. Army as a linguist in post-war Japan, and his later service as an Army interrogator during the Korean War.  Aki went on to serve in the U.S. Government in both the legislative and executive branch as a career civil servant. Aki will be moving to California soon with his daughter Mari, and all will miss seeing him at local JAVA events.  GEN Nakasone, presented Aki with his personal organizational coin in recognition of his lifetime of service to the nation. 

JAVA Executive Committee member, Rod Azama, introduced GEN Nakasone with highlights from his military career and accomplishments. GEN Nakasone began his presentation with an excerpt from a recent obituary for 99-year-old MIS Veteran Yukio Kawamoto, and observing the functions of WWII MIS Soldiers like Kawamoto continue to be performed by members of today’s Cyber Command and National Security Agency.  He spoke eloquently of the enduring nature of the responsibilities for those charged with these types of national security missions.  He also spoke movingly about how his father’s MIS service and his family’s journey from Okinawa to Hawai’i and his birthplace in Minnesota led him to his current duties.  We are thankful that he and his family, Team Nakasone, are serving our nation.  We were inspired and heartened by his message. 

GEN Nakasone, Yukio Kawamoto, Mary Murakami, and Aki Konoshima.  All serve as examples for us.  Along with so many other JAVA members, they have continued to perform the hard work that keeps America a place where “liberty and justice for all” is an enduring standard.   




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Upcoming events

    • 06 Apr 2019
    • 9:30 AM
    • National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II (Intersections of D St., New Jersey and Louisiana Aves., NW

    The 21st Annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk will take place rain or shine on Saturday, April 6, 2019.  The event will be held at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II.

    9:00 AM: Check-in

    9:30 AM: Nen Daiko Drummers

    10:00 AM: Program


    The Freedom Walk was created to raise awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II and to underscore the continuing need to ensure the Constitutional rights of all Americans remain protected.  The Freedom Walk honors the 33,000 Nisei military service members who during WWII served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion as well as the Women's Army Corps and Army Nurses Corps. It also honors the 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were sent to internment camps after the outbreak of WWII. Please join us for this important community event.


    • 13 Apr 2019
    • 10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Pennsylvania Ave NW Between 3rd St NW & 7th St NW. The location is right next to the Archives – Navy Memorial (Green & Yellow line) Metro station and Judiciary Square (Red line) Metro station.

    Visit the JAVA booth at Sakura Matsuri, the largest one-day outdoor festival of Japanese culture in the United States! Organized by Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC), the festival will be held rain or shine on Saturday April 13 from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Admission is $10 (children 12 years old and younger are free).

    Enjoy cultural exhibitions and demonstrations including Japanese art, history, music, dancing, martial arts, and food. The Festival also has “Taste of Japan” areas with vendors selling cooked Japanese and Asian dishes. Finally, visitors love browsing and shopping at the "Ginza Marketplace" for traditional Japanese goods and "Japan Now" which offers contemporary products.

    JAVA Executive Council Member Linda Bethke-Cyr would love to have help staffing the JAVA booth. Please email javapotomac@gmail.com with Sakura Matsuri in the subject line and let us know of your availability. Thanks!



Brief History of WWII Internment Camps featuring JAVA Members 

In 2010 JAVA teamed up with Montgomery County Public Schools to produce a series of educational videos on the experience of Japanese Americans during WWII. The videos feature Gerald Yamada, Norman Ikari, Grant Hirabayashi, Grant Ichikawa, Mary Murakami, Kelly Kuwayama and Terry Shima. Watch below or click here to watch.

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