Jap Road          George Hirasaki

 

    On December 2, a discrimination complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development seeking to suspend Jefferson County's receipt of federal funds until “Jap Road” is renamed. Scott Newar, legal counsel to Sandra Nakata Tanamachi and Thomas Kuwahara, filed this complaint. Press releases mention endorsement by ADL, JACL (National), LULAC, Urban League, OCA, NAPALC, APAHA, and NAACP. The Houston Chapter of JACL does not endorse this approach. We have informed Scott Newar, National JACL and Reuters News Service that our approach is to compile family histories of the pioneering families and encourage the local organizations to take the initiative in renaming the roads to honor the pioneering families. The history of Yoshio Mayumi has been placed on the JACL website and we will continue to advocate renaming Jap Road as Mayumi Road to honor the pioneering family. Jap Lane in Orange County was not mentioned in the complaint. We have corresponded with the Orange County Historical Society and offered the family stories we have compiled on our website.