Congressional Record Statement of Senator Daniel K. Akaka
Mr. President, as we mark our fourth anniversary of our involvement in Iraq, I wish to highlight an important chapter in our military history. With foresight that proved to be a significant factor in America's victory in World War II, the U.S. Army established a Japanese language school a few months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and recruited students, second-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry, or Nisei, who would become interpreters and translators in the Military Intelligence Service. Their ability to infiltrate the psyche of our enemy through their knowledge of Japanese culture and language is credited with bringing the war in the Pacific to a quicker conclusion and later, helping turn bitter foes into strong allies.
In 1994, I was among a number of Members of Congress, including my colleague and fellow World War II veteran, the senior Senator from Hawaii, Dan Inouye, who asked the Secretary of the Army to publish an official history of the Military Intelligence Service. Today, I am honored to announce the publication of Nisei Linguists, Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service During World War II, by Dr. James McNaughton, Command Historian, U.S. European Command. Nisei Linguists chronicles the history of the Japanese in America, the events leading to the War, the creation of the MIS, and the Nisei involvement in the War.
For the soldiers of the Military Intelligence Service, and their brethren in the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, their service was much more than an obligation to the land of their birth; it was an opportunity to prove themselves as loyal American citizens. As many friends, neighbors, and relatives were transported to concentration camps in various locations around the United States, Nisei soldiers enlisted and served with great distinction.
According to Chief of Military History Dr. Jeffrey Clarke, Nisei Linguists also reminds us that:
the entire experience provides valuable lessons to U.S. Army officers both present and future. In fact, the Global War on Terrorism underlines the need for similar capabilities and programs as the Army girds itself for the sustained struggle ahead.
As chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I am privileged to co-host an event marking the publication of Nisei Linguists on Tuesday, March 20th. Among those in attendance will be Dr. McNaughton, Dr. Clarke, and a number of World War II Nisei veterans, including those who served in the MIS.
Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
March 19, 2007