- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 20, 2000

The debate over Japanese-American memorial continues

It's unfortunate that Ken Masugi generalizes and greatly exaggerates when he writes that "pro-Japan factions in the relocation centers terrorized patriotic pro-Americans of Japanese ancestry. Openly avowing their loyalty to the Emperor by day, they ruled the centers by night" ("Should memorial include excerpts from Mike Masaoka?" Letters, June 13).

As one confined to the Gila River Camp during this period, I find this an extreme generalization without substantive proof. While there may have been pro-Japan inmates in the camps, I found none openly "avowing their loyalty to the Emperor by day" or ruling the centers by night.

As a former draftee in the U.S. Army, I find that Mr. Masugi ignores the many of us who were drafted, including the famed Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion, when he writes that the controversy about removing Mr. Masaoka's name and words from the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism "makes a mockery of this Memorial to Patriotism, especially of those who volunteered to fight and die for America." This is an extreme statement. Patriotism runs deep in Japanese-American draftees as well, as Club 100, an association of veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion has shown. Like them, I, too, object to the inclusion of Mr. Masaoka's name and words.

ARTHUR A. SASAHARA

Newton, Mass.

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Count me among the admirers of Mike Masaoka and as one who strongly supports the inclusion of his name on the monument honoring Japanese Americans. I first met Mike nearly 40 years ago when he was the Washington representative of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and I was majority leader of the Idaho House of Representatives. At the request of Japanese-American friends I had introduced and worked for the passage of a resolution proposing to amend the state constitution by striking a provision barring persons of Oriental ancestry from voting and exercising other rights of citizenship. The relic of the bigotry of an earlier time was unenforceable as a violation of the federal constitution but was an affront to a loyal group of citizens.

Mike came to Idaho to provide the leadership, along with other JACL members, in organizing the campaign, which led to an overwhelming vote of approval by the people. I have never been associated with a more patriotic group of Americans. This is remarkable in view of the discrimination endured by Japanese Americans for years after their arrival on our shores.

Our friendship continued after I came to Washington as a congressman more than 30 years ago. Mike is the model of an American citizen and patriot and is fully deserving of this recognition.

ORVAL HANSEN

Arlington

Count me among the admirers of Mike Masaoka and as one who strongly supports the inclusion of his name on the monument honoring Japanese Americans. I first met Mike nearly 40 years ago when he was the Washington representative of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and I was majority leader of the Idaho House of Representatives. At the request of Japanese-American friends I had introduced and worked for the passage of a resolution proposing to amend the state constitution by striking a provision barring persons of Oriental ancestry from voting and exercising other rights of citizenship. The relic of the bigotry of an earlier time was unenforceable as a violation of the federal constitution but was an affront to a loyal group of citizens.

Mike came to Idaho to provide the leadership, along with other JACL members, in organizing the campaign, which led to an overwhelming vote of approval by the people. I have never been associated with a more patriotic group of Americans. This is remarkable in view of the discrimination endured by Japanese Americans for years after their arrival on our shores.

Our friendship continued after I came to Washington as a congressman more than 30 years ago. Mike is the model of an American citizen and patriot and is fully deserving of this recognition.

ORVAL HANSEN

Arlington

'Thoughtful' column superseded by adjoining cartoon

On June 10, The Washington Times ran a thoughtful column by Larry Elder debunking the claim that women in the United States earn only 76.5 cents for each dollar earned by men doing the "same" work ("Gender gap remedy," Commentary).

If the claim were true, Mr. Elder correctly points out that every business would simply "fire all the men" and enjoy a huge surge in profitability. Of course, the discrimination claim is not true and has been demonstrated to be false in every responsible research effort ever undertaken.

Given the space The Times made available to Mr. Elder's column, I do not understand why you then sabotaged it by running the column next to a large political cartoon that simply restated the claim of discrimination as if it were an admitted, unambiguous fact of the workplace. You can't improve the public's understanding of this issue by reinforcing false stereotypes in large graphics that overwhelm the analysis contained in the text.

RONALD K. HENRY

Vienna

Former senator has vast experience feeding children

The article in The Washington Times describing former Sen. George McGovern's recommendation that the United States lead in a worldwide school lunch program brings to mind his leadership in this area 40 years ago ("Lunch plan would feed world's children, Clinton's legacy," June 14).

Unsuccessful in his first race for the Senate in 1960, he accepted the post of director of Food for Peace in the Kennedy administration. His mandate was to research world food needs and coordinate the efforts for the Departments of State and Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development to meet them. As his deputy, I can attest to his determination and resourcefulness in providing millions of tons of U.S. surplus commodities across the globe.

Mr. McGovern's current proposal as our ambassador to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization would be even more effective as it would leverage enormous contributions from other developed nations. I can recall no prouder experience as a public servant than that of seeing youngsters eating their first school meals thanks to America. An international commitment to this end is certainly a worthy challenge for the 21st century.

JAMES W. SYMINGTON

Washington

James Symington is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri.

Public wants logging to end in roadless areas of national forests

The article "Loggers rip Gore for reversal on consultation" (June 3) contained inaccuracies I would like to address.

During the New Hampshire debates in January, Vice President Al Gore referred to an opportunity for public comment on the policy revision process. The comment process has been extremely successful, with more than 225 public meetings held across the United States (at least one in every national forest and the regional Forest Service offices) and approximately a half-million comments already submitted. More than 90 percent of the comments submitted support halting logging in roadless areas of our national forests. Local public input has been considered, and the public supports a logging ban.

The article stated, "If new roads are banned, it would eliminate a logging company's ability to gain access to timber and effectively would end future logging." Tragically, this could not be further from the truth. Our national forests already have more than 380,000 miles of roads enough to circle the globe 17 times. There is no road shortage in our national forests. Under the current proposal, logging by cable, helicopter and other non-road-dependent techniques will continue unless public sentiment is heard.

Contrary to what Art Johnston, spokesman for the Forest Service, claims, the logging profession is safe. Less than 4 percent of timber harvests in the United States comes from national forests.

Finally, the implication that the United Auto Workers and Teamsters might withhold support of Mr. Gore in favor of Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, because of his logging policy is absurd. Mr. Nader fully and rightfully supports ending all commercial logging in our national forests.

More than half of the wilderness areas of our national forests already have been lost to logging or development. These areas are invaluable providers of clean air, water, recreation and wildlife habitat. Mr. Gore's position closes serious loopholes in the Forest Service Plan loopholes that allow logging in pristine acres of roadless national forests and exempt the Tongass National Forest, our last temperate rain forest. Mr. Gore deserves credit for arguing for protection of all our roadless areas.

BEN JULIAN

Forest campaign intern

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Washington

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