FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 23, 2022
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The Japanese American National Museum Welcomes the Passage of two Japanese American History Bills in the Omnibus Appropriations Package
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum celebrates today’s passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 is an omnibus bill that will provide annual funding for the federal government and the passage of a variety of bills including the Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education (JACE) Act (H.R. 1931) and the World War II Japanese American History Network Act (H.R. 6434). The Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium and the Japanese American Citizens League worked with their representatives to move the bills through Congress and include them in the final omnibus bill.
Primarily sponsored by Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA-6) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), the Norman Y. Mineta JACE Act will authorize the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program with another $38 million dollars, which will fund the program in the coming years. The JACS grant program provides funding for the preservation and interpretation of US confinement sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II.
The JACE Act will also establish a new educational program modeled after the Holocaust Education Act. An additional $10 million over five years will be used to ensure that present and future generations of Americans will learn from the World War II incarceration experiences of Japanese Americans and the nation’s commitment to equal justice under law. Funding will be used for research and education relating to the wartime incarceration and distribution of educational materials to promote a better understanding of how and why Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II.
The World War II Japanese American History Network Act will direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Japanese American World War II History Network within the National Park Service. Authorized for seven years, the network will coordinate federal and nonfederal activities that commemorate, honor, and interpret the history of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Act was primarily sponsored by Representative Jay Obernolte (R-CA-8) and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). Barrasso’s staff and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee worked together to include both bills in the omnibus.
“The passage of these bills is an important commitment by the leaders of this nation to expanding the historical record on a national level for future generations and to ensuring that the history of the incarceration is never forgotten and that no other group is similarly targeted. The bipartisan support for these bills is a tribute to the legacy of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta whose commitment to bipartisanship was a hallmark of his long career in public office and an exemplar of what can be achieved with common purpose,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO who is also the chair of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium. “This has been four years of hard work in the making, and we give our heartfelt thanks to the key legislators, the Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium member organizations for their resolute efforts to get this legislation passed in both chambers of Congress.”