James Iso

James Iso was born and raised in San Jose, California. He graduated from San Jose State University.

During World War II, James was incarcerated in Heart Mountain War Relocation Camp in Wyoming, but volunteered for military service while in camp. He was among the first American troops to be assigned to the occupation forces of Japan at war’s end. His assignment was at ATIS, G-2 Intelligence Headquarters, under Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur’s Tokyo headquarters.

James spent some 30 years in Asia for the US military and Foreign Service in his career, stretching from Japan to the Republic of Singapore. In the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he served principally in the U.S. Air Intelligence Service as a Defense Department Civilian. He was recalled to active military service in both areas on special operational assignments. His retired military rank was Major, USA (Reserve). Following the Vietnam War, James served in several Asian countries as a U.S. Foreign Service Career Officer (Ret). As U.S. Trade Attache’ he promoted exports of American agriculture to these growing Asian markets.

He retired in 1989 to Roseville, California. 

Updated April 2013

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Placer JACL Honor Nisei WWII Veteran Recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal

Talk given at the Placer County Ceremony Honoring Japanese American Veteran Recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, and Recipients of the Bronze Star, in World War II. November 7, 2012.

Today, we are immensely honored, as recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, bestowed upon us by the Congress of the United States, for as they put it, “a job well done” in our patriotic accomplishments for the United States in World War II. Being among the dwindling, surviving members of Japanese Americans veterans who served in that war, I am indeed privileged to speak on behalf of our Nisei comrades ...

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