Japanese American Confinement Education Act
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL A. CALDWELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCE COMMITTEE’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING H.R. 1931, A BILL TO PROVIDE COMPETITIVE GRANTS FOR THE PROMOTION OF JAPANESE AMERICAN CONFINEMENT EDUCATION AS A MEANS TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES, USE AND ABUSE OF POWER, AND TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURAL TOLERANCE TOWARD JAPANESE AMERICANS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
MAY 11, 2022
Chairman King, Ranking Member Daines, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 1931, a bill to provide competitive grants for the promotion of Japanese American confinement education as a means to understand the importance of democratic principles, use and abuse of power, and to raise awareness about the importance of cultural tolerance toward Japanese Americans, and for other purposes.
The Department supports H.R. 1931 and would like to continue to work with the Committee on any technical changes necessary to ensure the success of the program.
H.R. 1931, as passed by the House, would amend P.L. 109-441 to authorize a new program within the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program, which supports the preservation of U.S. confinement sites that were used to detain Japanese Americans during World War II, to provide grants to Japanese American nonprofits to educate individuals about the historical significance of these events. The bill would also increase the authorization of appropriations for the JACS program.
On May 27, 2021, we testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands on an earlier version of this bill. After providing this testimony, H.R. 1931 was amended to recognize that many of the objectives being proposed were already being met by the existing JACS grant program. Consequently, H.R. 1931 as passed by the House now proposes amendments to the existing legislation rather than starting a new program.
We would like to express our appreciation for this recognition of the merits of the existing grant program and support the current direction of the amendments to PL 109-441. We welcome the ongoing opportunity to work with the Committee to discuss the details of how this added focus on education will be administered along with the existing grant program. We are dedicated to our ongoing efforts to preserve significant cultural and natural resources and interpret the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants during World War II.
Chairman King, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.