|Chairman Tester (D-MT)
Jan Thompson, president of the ADBC-MS told the Committee members:
The final and fourth battle for the American POWs of Japan is for them not to be forgotten. Current and future generations can be inspired by their “victory from within.” There are still lessons to be learned. Most important, Congressional advocacy for the POW’s legacy reassures today’s fighting men and women that their service and sacrifice will be remembered.
To ensure that the POWs’ unique history is appreciated and retained, I ask Congress to:
1. Award, collectively, the American POWs of Japan the Congressional Gold Medal.
2. Instruct the U.S. Department of State to prepare a report for Congress on the history and funding of the “Japan/POW Friendship Program” that began in 2010 and how it compares with programs for (i) other Allied POWs and (ii) the Kakehashi people exchange program in the United States.
3. Encourage the Government of Japan to continue the “Japan/POW Friendship Program.”
4. Encourage the Government of Japan to expand its “Japan/POW Friendship Program” into a permanent educational initiative.
5. Request the Government of Japan to honor its 2015 promise to include the “full history” of Japan’s UNESCO World Industrial Heritage properties of the Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining. The history of POW slave labor at many of these sites is not included at either the locations or the new Tokyo Information Center.
6. Encourage the Government of Japan to create a memorial for the Allied POWs of WWII at the Port of Moji on Kyushu where most of the POW hellships docked and unloaded their sick and dying human cargo.