Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Andy Noguchi Interview
Narrator: Andy Noguchi
Interviewer: Frank Abe
Location: Merced, California
Date: August 29, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-nandy-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

FA: What kind of reaction has your resolution prompted?

AN: Great discussion and debate. This is one of the most difficult times, if not the most difficult times, for Japanese Americans. People had to make impossible decisions. People's lives, futures, family harmony were all riding on this, people's futures as to whether they got out of camps, whether they were going to answer a certain way to answers, to questions 27 and 28. So it was a very difficult time, and I think that people's feelings need to be respected, the views on this whole episode need to be respected, the resisters, their views and positions need to be respected also.

FA: But can you characterize the reaction this has had? I mean, it's been quite a furor in the papers.

AN: Well, there's, there's many types of reactions. It's a huge interest, for one, from Japanese Americans from the wider community, from the American public. Seeing an article in the Wall Street Journal on this issue, that's amazing, type of thing. So there's been both a wide range of reactions. Very strong reactions, some very supportive, some very opposed. Lot of misunderstandings about what the resolution says in black and white. So that's the unfortunate part, but that's the part we're trying to deal with through educating people about what we're trying to accomplish here.

FA: Are you at all surprised by the furor?

AN: Yeah, I was. I was. [Laughs] I didn't really -- as a Sansei who wasn't born during camp times and came afterwards, just realizing or finding out that it touched a huge nerve out there. So I was very surprised, but I understand why now, and I think it's a good process.

FA: What do you think's going to happen?

AN: I think what's already happened is there's been a lot of understanding generated by this resolution. That a lot of people are learning some of the facts and are starting to peel away some of the misconceptions out there. So I think that's great. I think that the majority of districts in JACL, representing the majority of chapters, the majority of members, have already supported this. So I think that's very positive. As far as whether it's going to be unanimous or not, it's probably not going to be unanimous.

FA: One last question: should the JACL apologize for its overall policy of cooperation with the government at the time?

AN: That's really not covered by the resolution. We're focusing on --

FA: It's not, but I'm asking you, should JACL apologize for that?

AN: I don't know. I'm not really an expert, you know, on all of the wartime positions and things that the JACL did like that. So we're not advocating that. What we are advocating is to make an apology for these men who stood up for very clear constitutional reasons, and moving forward with that.

FA: And one more time, just tell me your name again, and why you're here today.

AN: My name is Andy Noguchi with the Florin chapter of the JACL. I'm here to share some of the background of this resolution which seeks to recognize the resisters of conscience.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1999, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.