Leslie Unger - - 213-830-5690


Los Angeles, CA

The Japanese American National Museum condemns recent and ongoing rhetoric calling for the mass incarceration of people of the Muslim faith. Citing the unlawful incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as a precedent or justification for the unlawful targeting of Muslims, or any other group, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of one of the most shameful chapters in United States history.

In particular, remarks made on the Fox and Friends Weekend television program suggesting that incarceration camps might be an appropriate tool in fighting terrorism are offensive. We are grateful that representatives of Fox News Channel were explicit in denouncing the idea of camps as “reprehensible.”

“The Japanese American National Museum will continue to speak out against bigoted public discourse that harkens back to the tragic incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Racist remarks that suggest incarceration camps should be implemented for people of the Muslim faith is abhorrent and contrary to the fundamental values of this museum and this nation,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM.

Burroughs continued, “In the words of President George H.W. Bush, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor: ‘The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.’ The Japanese American National Museum is committed to seeing that President Bush’s words remain true.”

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.


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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.