Bekki Shibayama is a member of NOC's Steering Committee and  a representative of the Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans. She will speak at the 2018 San Jose Day of Remembrance.

Speak Out For Justice

The shocking story about the United States government's  abduction of Japanese Latin Americans

By Bekki Shibayama
  Art And Bekki Shibayama before heariing  
  Bekki and Art Shibayama at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing  
  My father, Art Shibayama, was a 13-year old Peruvian citizen when he and his family were seized from their home in Lima during WWII. They were shipped across international waters on a U.S. Army transport and imprisoned as “potentially dangerous enemy aliens” in a Department of Justice concentration camp in the U.S. Yet their only "crime" was that they were of Japanese descent. The U.S. government planned to exchange them for U.S. citizens trapped in Japan.

My father and his family were still detained in Crystal City when the war ended and the U.S. government classified them as “illegal aliens.” When Peru would not allow those of Japanese ancestry to return home, they were rendered stateless. They fought deportation for over a decade until they were able to obtain U.S. permanent residency.

Japanese Latin Americans

Over 70 years after their seizure, the U.S. government still refuses to acknowledge and properly redress the war crimes perpetrated against my family and over 2,200 Latin American internees of Japanese ancestry.

In March 2017, my father and his brothers were granted a public hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). For the first time, my father was given the opportunity to testify in a public hearing and hold the U.S. government
accountable for its crimes against humanity. As the IACHR has yet to issue its ruling, please sign our petition requesting a favorable ruling at

During these troubling times when other communities are being targeted by the Trump administration, it is critical that we speak out for justice. By uniting and lifting our voices in support of one another, we can achieve the Campaign for Justice’s vision—a world where civil liberties and human rights are promoted and protected.

To learn more about the Campaign for Justice, please visit our new website at or contact us at We hope to see you at the San Jose Day of Remembrance on February 18th.