Sunday, April 16, 2017

Appeal to Congress by American POWs of Japan

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The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS), the leading American veterans’ organization for former prisoners of war of Imperial Japan, their families, and historians, submitted testimony for the record on March 22, 2017 to the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee Joint Hearing To Receive Legislative Presentations of Veterans Service Organizations. [click to see full testimony]

The ADBC-MS asked Congress to:
  • Adopt a resolution commemorating this year’s annual National Prisoner of War Remembrance Day, April 9th, which is also the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March on the Philippines.
  • Award a Congressional gold medal to the American POWs of Japan, who endured the longest and harshest imprisonment of any WWII POWs.
  • Insist that the Japanese corporations that used POW slave labor during WWII make amends for their war crimes before they are allowed to bid on U.S. high speed rail contracts.
  • Encourage the Government of Japan to turn its POW visitation program into a permanent Future Fund for research, documentation, reconciliation, and people-to-people exchanges.
  • Demand that the Government of Japan refute misrepresentations of POW history in Japan and include the history in its UNESCO Industrial Heritage sites.
  • Ask the Japanese government to create a memorial at the Port of Moji, where most of the “hell ships” delivered their sick, dying, and dead human cargo to Japan.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March, the fall of the Philippines, the end of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, and the destruction of the U.S. Far East Air Force. It is estimated that over 300,000 American and Allied POWs and civilian internees were POWs of Imperial Japan. Nearly half died in squalid POW camps, aboard fetid “hell ships,” or as slave laborers for Japanese corporations.

Never again, means never forget.

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