Japanese American National Museum
Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 22, 2016

Leslie Unger - - 213-830-5690


Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum is dismayed by the latest remarks of President elect-Donald Trump that indicate he favors the creation of a registry for Muslim Americans. The targeting of any group, whether based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other single factor cannot be tolerated.

“Perhaps never before has the museum’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience been more important,” said Ann Burroughs, JANM Interim President and CEO. “The frightening rhetoric currently taking place pushes us to redouble our efforts to educate those willing to learn and recommit ourselves to standing in solidarity with the Muslim American community. We will do the same if and when any other group finds itself similarly targeted by our own government, something that few groups did when Japanese Americans were targeted in the 1940s.”

Some 120,000 Japanese Americans were unlawfully incarcerated during World War II. In 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians found that the policy of exclusion, removal, and detention was systematically conducted by the United States government despite the fact that no documented evidence of espionage or sabotage was shown, and there was no direct military necessity for detention. Further, the broad historical causes were found to be “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” These findings ultimately contributed to the United States government issuing a formal apology and paying reparations to the Japanese Americans it had forcibly removed to concentration camps—the tangible results of the bipartisan passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, led to the incarceration. It had been preceded by Presidential Proclamation 2537, which required aliens from Italy, Germany, and Japan to register with the US Department of Justice.

“History clearly shows that the establishment of a registry is not an end unto itself, but rather a dangerous step that leads to the unacceptable denial of civil rights,” added Burroughs.

Presidential Proclamation 2537 and two pages of Executive Order 9066, including the signature page, will be on view at the Japanese American National Museum beginning February 18, 2017, as part of Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066. The documents will be on loan from the National Archives.

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About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $10 adults, $6 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit or call 213.625.0414.



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