Lawmakers urge Postal Service to issue ‘Nisei’ stamp
State lawmakers this week urged the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp to honor more than 20,000 American World War II veterans of Japanese heritage, also known as “Nisei” soldiers.
As part of the collaborative, bipartisan campaign, state Rep. John Mizuno, D-Ft. Shafter-Alewa Heights, and state Sen. Les Ihara, Jr., D-Kapahulu-Palolo-Kaimuki, today introduced separate resolutions to gather statewide support for a commemorative Nisei stamp.
Nationally, more than 10,000 people have expressed support for a commemorative Nisei stamp through organized petitions, according to Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona’s office.
“The Nisei veterans meet the criteria established for stamp selection as an event of widespread national appeal and significance,” Aiona said. “These heroic, second-generation Japanese-Americans occupy a very special place in our nation’s history. Issuing a stamp to memorialize their bravery and patriotism is long overdue.”
Mizuno, the son and nephew of Nisei veterans, said awareness of the historic significance of the Japanese-American soldiers of World War II has grown in recent years as a result of a grassroots effort led by family members and friends of these veterans in California.
“Japanese-American soldiers of World War II proved their loyalty through the sacrifices they made in service to the United States,” Mizuno said. “And the decorations and awards they earned are a permanent and indisputable record of their bravery and patriotism.”
Ihara added that the effort is not unprecedented. He noted that the U.S. Postal Service previously issued stamps honoring other brave and distinguished minority veterans groups, including Hispanic-Americans in 1984 and African-American Buffalo soldiers in 1994.
“For that reason, I strongly support the issuance of a U.S. commemorative stamp honoring the significant contributions of the Nisei soldiers in the U.S. Army during World War II and honoring their shining example of patriotic sacrifice in our nation’s history,” Ihara said.