We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that transpired on March 18th. We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the eight victims whose lives were lost in the targeted shootings at spas in Atlanta. Many others have been recent victims of Asian American hate crimes. Over the past year, there has been a signifiant rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University reports a 150 percent overall increase in violence and harassment against Asians and Asian Americans since March 2020, and incidents involving women have been reported at twice the rate of men. These murders occurred against this backdrop of escalating anti-Asian sentiment during the COVID pandemic.
USJETAA supports the Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and we call for an end to the rise of this anti-Asian harassment and violence. This is an extension of our commitment to support positive relations between Japan and the United States, grassroots friendship in U.S.-Japan communities nationally, understanding of Japanese culture, and the JET Program's goal of cultural exchange and mutual understanding.