Japanese American Citizens League




The Japanese American Citizens League is the largest membership-based Asian American advocacy organization in the United States. Founded in 1929, JACL has over 23,000 members in 112 chapters throughout the country. JACL is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

JACL's strength is in its organized membership. Members belong to local chapters, and elect their chapter, regional, and national representatives. Together, we make a difference.

The JACL National Headquarters is in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, and Fresno.


JACL's mission is to advocate for the civil and human rights of Japanese Americans and others, and to promote and preserve the cultural heritage and values of Japanese Americans.


Civil and human rights.

Immigrant rights: JACL is sponsoring U.S. citizenship workshops to assist elderly Japanese immigrants in applying for citizenship. These Japanese immigrants, or issei, face cuts in critical government assistance as a result of welfare reform.

Redress: JACL is advocating for redress for Japanese Latin Americans and others who lost their freedom and were placed in U.S. internment camps during World War II.

Hate crimes: JACL offices and chapters work with legislators, law enforcement officials, community organizations, and others to fight the rising national trend in anti-Asian violence.

Affirmative action: In 1996, JACL conducted community education forums throughout the State of California on Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action initiative.


JACL sponsors leadership development programs such as the 14th Annual Washington, D.C. Leadership Conference and the 1997 Sacramento Leadership Conference. These programs include meetings with elected and appointed government officials and workshops on legislative and media advocacy.

The JACL Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship encourages public service by providing internship opportunities with Asian Pacific American members of Congress.


JACL recently published the third edition of its curriculum and resource guide, "A Lesson in American History: The Japanese American Experience."

In 1996, National JACL awarded 36 scholarships totalling over $71,000. In addition to National JACL scholarships, JACL chapters across the country award thousands of dollars every year through their own chapter scholarship programs.

THE PACIFIC CITIZEN: JACL's National Newspaper

JACL publishes the Pacific Citizen, a biweekly newspaper with a national circulation of over 23,000.


Among JACL's historic accomplishments include:

JACL supported passage of the Lea-Nye bill, granting citizenship to 500 World War I veterans of Asian ancestry, and took part in the repeal of the Cable Act, which had revoked the citizenship of American women married to aliens.

JACL initiated action to recover property losses caused by the World War II internment of more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry. JACL filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that no reasonable basis existed for the internment.

JACL advocated for passage of the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which allowed the Issei to gain American citizenship.

JACL supported the elimination of discriminatory immigration quotas for people from Asian and Pacific Island nations.

JACL led the effort to urge President Gerald Ford to rescind Executive Order 9066, the act that led to the exclusion and detention of persons of Japanese descent from the West Coast.

JACL successfully advocated for the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing for $20,000 redress to over 80,000 Japanese American World War II internment camp survivors.


National Headquarters

1765 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94115
phone: (415) 921-5225
fax:(415) 931-4671
e-mail: jacl@hooked.net
Washington Office

1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. #70
Washington, D.C. 20036
phone: (202) 223-1240
fax: (202) 296-8082
Central California Office

1713 Tulare Street, #133
Fresno, California 93721
phone: (209) 486-6815
fax: (209) 486-6817
e-mail: jaclccro@aol.com
Pacific Northwest Office

671 South Jackson Street, #206
Seattle, Washington 98104
phone: (206) 623-5088
fax: (206) 623-0526
Pacific Southwest Office

244 San Pedro Street, Suite 507
Los Angeles, California 90012
phone: (213) 626-4471
fax:(213) 626-4282
e-mail: jaclpsw@aol.com
Midwest Office

5415 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60640
phone: (312) 728-7170
fax:(312) 728-7231
e-mail: jaclmro@aol.com


web page created august 28, 1996 by wataru ebihara * japanese american network