JAVA was activated in 1992, some 17 years after the Freedom of Information Act allowed the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) activities in the Asia Pacific theater, classified SECRET, to be told. JAVA’s mission from its inception is to tell the people of America and the world (1 ) that 110,000 ethnic Japanese, 2/3 of them US citizens, were confined in internment camps for the duration of WW II because the government viewed them as disloyal; and (2 ) 14,000 Nisei served in the combat zones in Europe and the Pacific, and another 17,000 Nisei soldiers, men and women, served stateside to prove their loyalty. President Truman removed the stigma of disloyalty when he reviewed the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) near the White House on July 15, 1946, attested to Nisei loyalty, and placed them in America’s mainstream, from where they have contributed to the greatness of America.
JAVA Research Unit Projects:
For 10 years, Dr. Susumu (Sus) Yamamoto, Fumie Yamamoto and Maggie Ikeda drove to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and researched archived documents about the Nisei during WWII. They copied enough documents to fill a 10'x5'x8' storage vault. Their research was instrumental in helping to upgrade medals of nearly two dozen men to the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The success of that effort prompted the Historian for the MIS and 442d RCT of Hawaii, Ted Tsukiyama (picture above), to urge JAVA to continue to copy the documentation at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility at College Park, MD.
It was at this time, when JAVA was just becoming a presence on the internet, that the proposal was made to switch from making paper copies, which only increased access to the documents to a second location (i.e., Hawaii as well as College Park) to making digital copies which could be made available to a world-wide audience via the internet. With the sponsorship of the 442nd Club in Hawaii and JAVA, a laptop computer and a scanner were purchased, a database to catalog the information scanned to facilitate research via keywords was developed, and a new crew of volunteers was recruited and led by Fumie Yamamoto (one of the original members of the research team).
Since then, hundreds of pages have been scanned and converted to Adobe Acrobat Reader format, which anyone with internet access can use for free to read the documents. Since 2006, two modifications were made to the scanning procedures: first, a Kodak color strip was added at the bottom of the scan so that true rendering of the original can be reproduced if necessary; and second, the location of the document at NARA is included so that researchers can find the original if necessary.