Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Francis Mas Fukuhara Interview
Narrator: Francis Mas Fukuhara
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Elmer Good (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 25, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrancis-01-0024

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TI: Were you Commander of the NVC?

FF: I was Commander in 1988, 1988-'89.

TI: Okay, so that was right about the time the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed, and it was also a time when I know the JACL was putting together a resolution to apologize to individuals who answered "no-no" during the camps to the so-called "loyalty questions" during registration. When that was happening locally in Seattle, what was the reaction of the Nisei Vets?

FF: The Nisei Vets, of course, if you read the resolution, it only obligates JACL to thank the "no-no boys" for their action and it only obligates JACL to apologize for the shoddy treatment that they got because they answered "no." But, so we had initially considered that sort of an internal JACL matter. But when we read some of the comments, some of the comments about that resolution, by authors of that resolution in the local vernacular, Nikkei vernacular papers, we got the feeling that they were really looking beyond, apologizing for the actions of JACL. Because they came out with comments such as, "The Nisei Vets have ostracized the 'no-no boys' until very recently," and all this kind of stuff. And actually that as an organization, I don't know that that was necessarily true anyway. But I know for a fact, really, that not all Nisei veterans have that kind of hard-nosed attitude toward "no-no boys." And even those that did, I mean, at that point in time, that was forgotten. If there was any, what... there was no hard feelings at that time toward "no-no boys" on the part of the Vets. So, but, also at that time, you mentioned the redress effort that, that JACL had. Okay, now at the time that the, that resolution was proposed, the Civil Liberties Act hadn't yet been signed. And there was a lot of political agitation against it at the time, and we figured really that jeez, I mean, not only is this resolution inaccurate, in its allegations, but really it's not doing any good for the redress effort. And so I think that's the reason why I think the, the organization itself, really decided to oppose it.

TI: And so what was the outcome of the opposition?

FF: Well, the... 'course the resolution had its discussion at that meeting, and very wisely, some Sansei got up and said, "Heck, let's table this thing because we don't know enough about the subject matter to comment meaningfully about it." And so it was tabled and it was referred to a JACL presidential committee for resolution and for discussion at the 1990 meeting.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.