FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 8, 2021

PRESS CONTACTS:

Joseph Duong - jduong@janm.org - 213-830-5690

STATEMENT: ON THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK THE JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM HONORS THE US MILITARY WHO PERISHED ON THIS DATE AND IT ALSO RECOGNIZES THE 120,000 PEOPLE OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY WHO WERE UNJUSTLY INCARCERATED AFTER THIS


LOS ANGELES - On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day,  the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) honors the memory of the World War II heroes who died on December 7,1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. This 80th anniversary is also a stark reminder of the fragility of American civil rights after 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry –  most of them US citizens – who were unjustly removed from their homes and incarcerated in remote concentration camps across the nation.

“Dec. 7, 1941 will forever be remembered for its dual tragedies of more than 2,000 US military who died in the attack by Japan, and also the war hysteria and racism that led to 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry – most of them Americans – who were forced to abandon their lives and homes and held in concentration camps,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “This historic day is a momentous lesson that reminds us that the civil rights of every American must always be protected. Even today, more than eight decades after Pearl Harbor, the sting of discrimination, hate, and racism is painfully aimed at Asian Americans.”

In the past few years, JANM has remained vigilant against anti-Asian hate, Burroughs said. But persistent bias and disinformation in multimedia, speech, and by political leaders, have led to increased violence and attacks against thousands of Asians across the nation. 

On this Remembrance Day, it is essential to honor both the military dead at Pearl Harbor, as well as the constitutional rights of all Americans. JANM also honors the US World War II heroes of the Japanese American segregated unit, the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history. Thousands of Japanese Americans served in this unit, while their families remained held in concentration camps.


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Established in 1985, JANM 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 in 1992, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite while traveling 17 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. For more information, visit janm.org or follow us on social media @jamuseum.