March 9, 2009
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today released the following statement in support of her request for federal assistance for the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.
The Japanese American Museum of San Jose exists to highlight the
many contributions that Japanese-Americans have made to Santa Clara
County and our country. The museum houses exhibits that honor the tens
of thousands of Japanese-Americans who were forcibly relocated and
interned during World War II, the heroic efforts of the 442nd regiment
(the most highly decorated military unit of its size in the history of
the U.S.), and Japanese-Americans who served in the Military
Intelligence Service (MIS) in the Pacific Theater. The museum's
completion will help generate additional tourism to San Jose's
Japantown, one of the last three remaining Japantowns in the USA, which
in turn generates jobs and income for local businesses. I was honored
to have sponsored the request for funds to complete the museum's
construction. The $237,500 that the federal government has allocated is
less than 10 percent of the total funds that have already been secured
for this project and will help push the already started construction
over the finish line.
Senator McCain represents a state that receives $1.19 for every dollar it pays into the federal treasury so it seems surprising that he would attack funding for a project in California, a state that receives 78 cents for every dollar it pays into the federal treasury. I would also expect Senator McCain to recognize that the heroic military service of Japanese-Americans deserves to be documented and passed on to future generations. We all agree with the need to eliminate "pork" in federal expenditures. But to consider the Japanese American Museum of San Jose "pork" instead of a monument to the multi-cultural history of our Valley and to the sacrifices that Japanese-Americans have made for their country is a serious even insulting mistake.