Japanese American Citizens League


August 8, 2022

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA, advocates for the rights of Asian Americans and supports same-sex marriage. Purposeful civil rights organizations. It is the oldest and largest Asian-American human rights organization in the United States.


Before the war, there were branches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago, and a lobby organization in Washington, D.C., the capital. Today, the national organization consists of over 100 branches. Branches located in major cities and metropolitan areas of the country California Central District eastern district mountainous area Midwest region Northern California/Western Nevada/Pacific North Pacific It is a form of belonging to one of the councils established in seven districts such as the Pacific Southwest District.

Prewar (1929-1936)


Clarence Arai (Takeya Arai) is represented by the Seattle Revolutionary Citizens League, San Francisco-based New American Citizens Association, and Thomas Yatabe (Yatabe Tamotsu) is represented by the American Loyalty Society. ” was established in 1929 as a result of the integration of existing Nisei organizations. Arai was appointed as the first president. At its inception, it focused on encouraging free entrepreneurship, self-help efforts, and loyalty to the United States, in order to nurture Nisei to become experts in various fields and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Development of Lobbying Activities

After that, with the active support of Seattle activists such as James Sakamoto (Yoshinori Sakamoto), the first national conference was held in Seattle on August 29, 1930. Along with this, he started lobbying activities to expand the citizenship rights of Japanese and Asian immigrants who were regarded as ``non-naturalizable foreigners'' under the anti-Japanese immigration law enforced in 1924. First, it aimed to repeal the "Cable Act" passed by Congress in September 1922, which stipulated that a woman who married a man who was an unnaturalizable alien would be deprived of her citizenship. As a result, in 1931, Congress changed the law to allow marriage to an unnaturalized alien to continue to retain citizenship, which was repealed in 1936. He then launched a campaign to grant citizenship to Asian immigrant veterans, including 838 Issei who served in World War I, represented by Bessho Nanyo. Lobbying by Tokutaro Slocum (Tokutaro Nishimura), a Issei veteran like Bessho, was successful in this effort. It was decided to sign the "Nye Lee Act" to give.

World War II Period (1937-1945)

Deterioration of Japan-U.S. Relations and Crisis in the Nikkei Community

The enactment of the Anti-Japanese Immigration Law of 1924, as mentioned above, led to the deteriorating relationship between Japan and the United States from around the beginning of the Showa era. Due to the isolation speech by , the Panay Incident on December 12th, and the completion of the aid route in November 1938, it was becoming impossible to restore. In addition, on July 26, 1938, the United States announced the withdrawal of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the United States, which expired on January 26, 1939. As a result, the two countries have been on the same page ever since the Treaty of Peace and Amity between Japan and the United States entered into force on February 21, 1855.