The purpose of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) is to promote and protect the American way of life as guaranteed and set forth by the Constitution of the United States; to perpetuate the historical preservation and sharing of the legacy of the NVC and to carry on the patriotic, social, charitable and educational objectives as originally formed and organized.
Despite their meritorious wartime achievements, the returning World War II Nisei (2nd Generation Japanese American) soldiers faced racial discrimination and prejudice. They were rejected by some Veterans organizations in the Pacific Northwest such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). For example, in the spring of 1945 Richard Naito, a disabled veteran, was recuperating from wartime injures at a hospital in Spokane, Washington but was denied membership in the local VFW because of his Japanese ancestry. Also in 1945, the American Legion post in Hood River, Oregon removed the names of the 16 Nisei soldiers from their “Honor Roll”. One of the names removed was that of Frank Hachiya who was killed in action in the Philippines and was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery.
Due to racial discrimination and prejudice, a group of recently discharged Nisei veterans in Seattle who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (442nd) and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS), established the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) on March 25, 1946. Harry Takagi was one of the leaders in establishing the Seattle NVC and in recognition of his leadership, he was elected the first commander. Early NVC leaders included Albert “Lefty” Ichihara, Shiro Kashino, Kick Setsuda, Bill Nishmura, Joe Nakatsu, Joe Hamanaka, and many others who gave the NVC a strong foundation that enabled the organizations to thrive.
One purpose of the NVC was to sustain the strong personal relationships that were formed during the war. These relationships served as a bond for members of the NVC and their families throughout their lives.
The NVC’s constitution and bylaws were adopted on June 2, 1946 and the NVC was established as a veterans’ organization. Many of the founding members were fiercely independent and the constitution and bylaws required the organization to be self-supporting, non-political and independent of outside influence. Membership was open to all honorably discharged veterans who supported the patriotic goals and aspirations of the NVC. The early membership of the Seattle NVC was primarily those who had served in the 442nd because they had returned home earlier than many of these who hand served in the MIS—many MIS soldiers remained in Japan after the war to translate for the war crimes trials.
Today the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) is made up of veterans who served from WWII through the global war on terrorism. We work together to continue the legacy of the Nisei Veterans through community and civic activities, social activities, education and scholarship programs.