Four years ago, in 2000, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) voted to apologize to Nisei resisters of World War II. The delegates of the JACL had voted on sixteen resolutions. One of the sixteen resolutions was an emergency resolution calling for continued support of fighting the redress for Japanese Latin Americans. That was defeated. In contrast, the most controversial resolution, which gave recognition and an apology to the Nisei Resisters of Conscience (NRC) of World War II, was adopted (Lin). When members of the JACL saw the voting results in a show of approval, some older members stormed out of the room vowing to end their memberships (Ibid). The vote was clearly based on generation lines: Younger generations versus the older generations. The apology may serve as a first step in the healing process, but the JACL leadership is fearful it may be a slow and agonizing first step. Old wounds were opened and old memories were revisited.
David Masuo, a Vietnam veteran told the delegates he had fought for the right to resist when he was in Vietnam. He argued during World War II that 315 Japanese American men, in violation of their Constitutional right to protest, had been unlawfully imprisoned and that the leadership of the JACL “did not provide support and counsel to them during a time of emotional crisis.” “Many things have been said about their loyalty based on hearsay and rumor,” Masuo continued on.
"Misinformation from the same government that claimed JAs were fifth columnists or spies. Remember it was the government that used the JACL to push their agenda and make sure our elders were removed from the JACL and placed in prisons away from their families. The government has tried to right its wrongs, and we must do the same.” (Ibid).