NJAMF Awards Gala

The Foundation hosts a gala in Washington, DC to honor individuals or organizations who have added to the American tapestry of public service, military service, civil rights, or constitutional rights and in so doing have lived the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice by Japanese Americans during the Second World War.

During each gala the Foundation makes awards to those individuals and organizations that it has selected for recognition. The awards are described below:

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The Chairman's Award
Awarded to an individual whose leadership has significantly raised the nation's awareness of the Japanese American community's contribution to the history and life of the nation, and whose actions have led to the increased recognition of the community's intrinsic and vital role in the nation's continuing legacy and future.

Award for Preservation of Constitutional Rights
Awarded to an individual whose contributions to constitutional rights have materially improved the treatment of, and opportunities made available to all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and therefore has advanced the complementary principles of diversity and unity upon which our nation is founded.

Award for Patriotism
Awarded to an individual whose military or other contributions to the nation's peace, security and welfare exemplify the spirit of patriotism in the face of prejudice as embodied by President Harry S. Truman's statement to returning Nisei veterans of WWII: "You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice - and you won."
April 17, 2009 honorees included:

Special Recognition Legacy Award to three Japanese American Medal of Honor Recipients, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, and George T. Sakato for their distinguished military careers and patriotism. The recipients are among the most highly-decorated soldiers in American military history.

Chairman’s Award to CBS News for leadership that has significantly raised the nation’s awareness of the Japanese American community’s contributions to the history and life of the nation

Award for Constitutional Rights to Congressman Xavier Becerra for his contributions to constitutional rights that have materially improved the treatment of, and opportunities made available to, all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

Former CNN news anchor and founder of Sachi Koto Communications, Sachi Koto served as the event’s mistress of ceremonies.

Previous Award Recipients:

April 4, 2008
  • Chairman's Award to Congressman Barney Frank
  • Award for Preservation of Constitutional Rights to Joan Bernstein - Former Chairwoman for the US Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians
  • Award for Patriotism to Major General Antonio M. Taguba (US Army Ret.)

April 20, 2007
  • Chairman's Award to the late Senator Spark Matsunaga
  • Award for the Preservation of Constitutional Rights to Senator Lindsey O. Graham
  • Award to Patriotism to Senator Daniel K. Akaka
  • Tribute to the Veterans of the Korean War

April 6, 2006
  • Chairman's Award to Senator Alan K. Simpson
  • Award for Preservation of Constitutional Rights to Congressman John Lewis
  • Award to Patriotism to the Philippine Scouts
  • Tribute to Japanese American Women in World War II

November 23, 2003
  • Chairman's Award to Senator Robert J. Dole
  • Award for Preservation of Constitutional Rights to Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
  • Award for Patriotism to General Eric K. Shinseki (US Army-Ret.)

National Japanese American Memorial Foundation Awards Dinner Gala Journals: