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U.S. Congress honors Japanese-American soldiers

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'bout time!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Omedetou

0 ( +1 / -1 )

US high schoolers are taught about the 442nd (at least my class was over 20 years ago). Surprised to hear they have not been honored like this yet.

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Good informative article.

Interesting documentary on this subject shown on J TV the other day. Recommended if you are bored. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0799976/

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Sakai then watched as the FBI rounded up some of the leading Japanese-American men in Los Angeles. When the federal government authorized the relocation of people with Japanese ancestry, a sister and some of his friends were sent to internment camps. "We were blackballed," Sakai said. "Basically, they took away our citizenship."

Shameful period in our history. One that the court historians serving the almighty State rarely present in its proper light: as an illustration of the totalitarian urge, i.e. "progressivism", that gripped both parties, from TR's imperial presidency onwards, but especially fervently during the Wilson and FDR administrations.

Compounding the ignominy is how modern era race hustlers and grievance-mongers in American "academia" ignore or evade the Japanese American community's achievement after being released from the internment camps the progressive icon FDR put them in. By 1959 Japanese Americans had reached income parity with 'white' Americans.Keep in mind that was before the overweening leviathan State, seeing capitalism making it less than central in all matters, settled upon 'civil rights' as the best way to intervene in the private sector and in private lives to reassert the kind of power and control they had in FDR's day.

Years ago in Honolulu I had the honor of meeting a couple of the veterans of the 442nd Regiment. Absolutely stand-up guys. For its size theirs was the most heavily decorated unit in US Army history i believe.

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@unreconstructed-

Indeed. The FDR and Wilson administration are the two most darkest periods in America history since 1900 onward. It's frightening how many people look up to those two totalitarians. Lets not forget FDR was elected president 4 times using the war as an excuse for power, much like how bush did in 2004. Running for president that many times was a spit in the face to George Washington.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Sen Barbara Boxer and Rep Adam Schiff, both Democratic lawmakers from California, were the original co-sponsors of the legislation honoring the Japanese-American soldiers.

Glad to see this honor being rendered to the veterans. Also very proud that a Medal-of-Honor winner and 442nd regiment veteran, Daniel Inouye has served for so long as a U.S. Senator from the Democratic Party of Hawaii. Another U.S. Democratic Senator from Hawaii, the late Spark Matsunaga, also served in the 442nd combat regiment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

War is hell, and in this case it was easier for White Americans to spot Japanese Americans and Japanese in the USA from say Italian Americans and German Americans, that were also heavily watched in not only Japan, but also Italy and Germany were the enemies of the USA right?? But I am happy for these soldiers who fought for their country, the USA over in Europe, but at the same time I do wish we never ever had wars and that from now on, our children, our grandchildren can live in peace for ever and ever!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Have the American Japanese who fought for Japan been honored?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Too little too late. And Americans always seem to need some group to kick around, scorn and spite or life is just not any fun. Pearl Harbor made it the Japanese-American's turn and it took decades to let go of that guilty pleasure enough to compensate relocated families who had everything stolen from them for being whipping boy of the time. All that worry of spies was too ridiculous to entertain for a single minute. It took more than half a century to honor Japanese-American soldiers today.

-6 ( +2 / -9 )

(Sigh) The only thing you forgot to toss in that diatribe, Unreconstructed, was how "it was a shame the proletariat didn't rise up and overthrow the Capitalist Pigs controlling their lives."

At that period in time the U.S. was reacting in fear, not totalitarianism. We had just been attacked without warning and hurt badly by a country that had been our ally in WWI. Suddenly, the Japanese neighbors down the street became potential spies for "the enemy" and nobody wanted THEIR town to be where the next surprise attack occurred. The "solution" was to brand all Japanese - whether naturalized or not - as security risks and treat them accordingly. This is NOT one of the United States' shining moments and it is universally presented in American classrooms as an embarassing departure from our ideals of "Freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", but it is also NOT an example of totalitarianist policies. It's just a country reacting in fear rather than reason.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

This is an excellent documentary about the 442. http://www.442film.com/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's never too late (unless that's the trope that you get a kick from).

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They received the nickname the Purple Heart Battalion because of the tremendous number of casualties they endured.

At least they were considered worthy to be cannon fodder. On the other hand African-Americans weren't trusted anywhere near a gun. There was relatively much more political pressure mounted against the Tuskegee airmen from leaving their training grounds for war the European air war. Congress initially drafted able-bodied Nissei men from the internment camps, a move that was struck down by the US Supreme Court on the rationale that 'enemy aliens cannot be conscripted for war'. This is unbelievable, it's something you expect from a fascist Axis regime but it really happened over here in good 'ole US of A folks.

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On the other hand African-Americans weren't trusted anywhere near a gun. There was relatively much more political pressure mounted against the Tuskegee airmen from leaving their training grounds for war the European air war.

I was going to bring up the Tuskegee Airmen as a refutation to the first sentence, but you did a nice job rendering the first sentence false on your own. The Tuskegee Airmen were "African-Americans" and they were fighter pilots with an excellent record of kills in Europe. Unless you're trying to say all their kills were by knives, then African-Americans MUST have been trusted near a gun, ね?

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The Tuskegee Airmen were "African-Americans" and they were fighter pilots with an excellent record of kills in Europe. Unless you're trying to say all their kills were by knives, then African-Americans MUST have been trusted near a gun, ね?

Ironically Congress finally approved it out of curiosity and experimentation, not out of immediate strategic necessity.

Many black pilots were killed in bomber escort and raid runs, but for so long they were considered by many as just data.

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No. Seriously. Democrats are idiots. Just talk to one.

-8 ( +1 / -8 )

Cool, as an American I thank those men for their service.

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The men and women who served in and supported the war effort deserve no less than our thanks, and it's high time they got it. It's a shame it's come so late, but that it has come is a sign that, perhaps, things are changing and hopefully such efforts will not be needed again in the future thanks to these brave people.

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http://health-med-news.com Lets not forget FDR was elected president 4 times using the war as an excuse for power, much like how bush did in 2004.

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ShootandScoot: "And Americans always seem to need some group to kick around,"

Says the guy doing exactly what he complains about.

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"dance of hate" pfftt. I'm mean, really. What that's but idiocy?

The Japanese-Americans that I know respect the sacrifices of their predecessors, and they appreciate the recognition of the same.

Trying to policize this is so typically lame of you know who.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Trying to policize this is so typically lame of you know who.

Yeah, I know who. The right-wing loons who brought up FDR "spitting" on George Washington and Woodrow Wilson.

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Too little too late. And Americans always seem to need some group to kick around, scorn and spite or life is just not any fun.

Shootland -- what an idiotic statement. Sure, as in this case, there have been periods in American history when certain groups were oppressed -- women, blacks, Japanese, possibly being the most recent. And those are certainly not our most shining moments. But at least the U.S., unlike countries like Japan for example, tries to better itself by admitting mistakes, and righting them when possible. And that is never "too little too late". In fact, the U.S. long ago recognized the errors associated with the internment camps -- in fact in 1988 it admitted that this was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and lack of political leadership" -- and paid over $1.6 billion in raparations. The day Japan can look itself in the mirror and do similiarly is the day when folks posting on JT have a right to critisize the U.S. for this kind of action.

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Mighty white of the US Congress, too little, too late. I never would of served them. Losing my citizenship being a Japanese ethnicity puts the Americans in the same camp as the Nazi. Now the US "honors" these brave men who after being kicked to the ground served their country anyway. I will say these vets are better people than me. I could not of done such an action. Good job Japanese-American Vets of WWII!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It took more than half a century to honor Japanese-American soldiers today.

Uh, what?!?

President Harry Truman welcomed home many of the Japanese-American soldiers in 1946: “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice, and you have won.”

It took over a half a century to have them receive a politically-motivated award that has also been awarded to ATHLETES. They received the honors that actually MEANT something back in the 40's.

@YuriOtani

Losing my citizenship being a Japanese ethnicity puts the Americans in the same camp as the Nazi.

Not even close. Go talk to a survivor of the Nazi camps and ask them if the Japanese American detainees in the American concentration camps lived in the same conditions as the Jewish detainees did in the European camps. You'll be lucky if you're not spat upon for asking such an ignorant question.

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Fadamor, being a more gentle criminal still makes you a criminal. Putting your own citizens in concentration camps for the crime of your ancestors coming from a certain country is still criminal. Of course the Jews in Europe had it worse but what is your point? The Japanese Americans lost it all home, jobs and liberty.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm always amazed how many seem to not know about what happened to the Japanese in America or have "forgotten". I remember reading about them in high school, not because my school taught it but because I enjoyed reading anything I could get my hands on. The Holocaust is taught but what was done to Japanese Americans on our soil is barely mentioned.

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I'm always amazed how many seem to not know about what happened to the Japanese in America or have "forgotten"

It was taught in my high school history classes. It's important to note, though, that saying it isn't taught and saying Americans don't know about it are two very different things. Unfortunately, many of my fellow citizens are idiots and chose not to learn anything in school.

It took over a half a century to have them receive a politically-motivated award

Something that really needed to be pointed out.

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I never would of served them. Losing my citizenship being a Japanese ethnicity puts the Americans in the same camp as the Nazi. Now the US "honors" these brave men who after being kicked to the ground served their country anyway.

There is a deep and inherent contradiction in your writing.

First, one correction in what you've written. I agree that those Americans who deprived the Japan-born "issei" and their children of their liberty and property were, in fact, criminals. However, many Americans, starting with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, absolutely deplored the actions taken against their fellow Americans and spoke out against it. Some groups, like the Quakers, protested by joining and serving the inmates in the camps.

I would say that most of the Japanese-Americans who wanted to sign up to serve were eager to do so in order to prove they could be good Americans. Unlike yourself, they did not see their fellow Americans has having anything in common with followers of Naziism. It is because they saw the promise of America -- though often a temporarily broken one -- which is unique in the world.

And so, when you say that these loyal and true Americans are "better than" you are, I have to wonder why you would want to remain in such a low state of hatred and falsehood.

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At that period in time the U.S. was reacting in fear, not totalitarianism. We had just been attacked without warning and hurt badly by a country that had been our ally in WWI.

Pure none-sense. That attack was NOT without warning and anybody could have seen it coming. First Japan is an archipelago without much natural resources. Therefore it cannot tolerate a a reduction in inflows of needed resources. The United States embargoed Japan by prohibiting steel, iron, and aviation fuel. Also the fact that both countries had Geo-political interest in China which Japan occupied. Embargoes are a form of protectionist policy and it's important to understand that protectionist policies often lead to war. Also, the progressive icon Woodrow Wilson Re-Segregated the military.

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Thousands of Japanese-Americans who fought in the fiercest battles of World War II and became some of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history were given an overdue thank-you from their country Wednesday when Congress awarded them its highest civilian honor.

I think it's great that they are being remembered and honored but I don't think you can say that they "were given an overdue thank-you" right after stating that they are "some of the most decorated soldiers in US history". The fact that they are highly decorated makes it clear that they have already been thanked by the nation. Regardless, I always love seeing the old war veterans getting recognized.

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@yabits:

I would say that most of the Japanese-Americans who wanted to sign up to serve were eager to do so in order to prove they could be good Americans. Unlike yourself, they did not see their fellow Americans has having anything in common with followers of Naziism. It is because they saw the promise of America -- though often a temporarily broken one -- which is unique in the world.

I don't agree with you much but your most recent comments on this topic are very thoughtful and well stated.

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Says the guy doing exactly what he complains about.

How is pointing out facts of national character kicking a group around? I have not advocated locking Americans up in an interment camp. I have not suggested any laws against Americans. Not even boycotts. I have advocated none of those, at least not yet. I am American in fact! And I am one who voted with my feet!

American history is plain as day. First they kicked around the native tribes, then blacks. And while they were kicking around blacks, they also kicked around Japanese-Americans, Chinese, Jews, gays, communists (both real and imaginary). And I am just getting warmed up! American history is chock full of people getting stomped on. So are a lot of other histories. But, the real kicker is that Americans claim America to be the all inclusive melting pot and the land of freedom! But it seems to be only after your group has been completely broken.

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I never would of served them. Losing my citizenship being a Japanese ethnicity puts the Americans in the same camp as the Nazi.

Not the same camp, but close neighbors. The difference is that the Americans did not murder the Japanese-Americans in the camps en-masse. But stealing their property, citizenship and freedom were certainly bad enough. And if it had been 100 years earlier in American history, they not only would have been locked up, but also left to starve and freeze to death in winter, women and children alike. Just ask any Santee Sioux. Mankato and its aftermath is just another ugly chapter of American history most American are blissfully ignorant of or in denial about.

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One notable national effect of the service of the 442nd was to help convince Congress to end its opposition towards Hawaii's statehood petition. Twice before 1959, residents of Hawaii asked to be admitted to the U.S. as the 49th state, but each time Congress was fearful of having a co-equal state that had a majority non-white population. The exemplary record of the Japanese Americans serving in the 442nd and the loyalty showed by the rest of Hawaii's population during World War II overcame those fears and allowed Hawaii to be admitted as the 50th state. Alaska was granted statehood just prior.

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ShootandScootNov. 03, 2011 - 08:01AM JST Not the same camp, but close neighbors. The difference is that the Americans did not murder the Japanese-Americans in the camps en-masse.

Some were murdered by U.S. soldiers. At the time, when these 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced to relocation camp, they did not know what to expect, and some were shot and killed for unknown reasons. Even though there were many camps in the western part of U.S., some ended up in hardcore Santa Fe, NM camp, next to many Nazi POW's that fought for General Rommel in North Africa. Only thing that was seperating was them was the barb wire between Nazi POW's and Japanese-American POW's. Not all Japanese-Amercian's that were in interment camp were treated equal as you suggest. Some were treated very hashly by the U.S. and died.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

next to many Nazi POW's that fought for General Rommel in North Africa.

They were German POWs, not all Nazis. And soldiering is not a crime, at least not yet. It makes no difference who they were camped next to unless they were hostile parties. And they weren't.

Not all Japanese-Amercian's that were in interment camp were treated equal as you suggest.

I suggested no such thing. I also did not say that none died or were killed. I said they were not killed en-masse, and that means exactly what it says, no more, no less. There were no ovens and no gas chambers. But yes, some died and were killed, and that is why America was not camped with the Nazis, but yet, very near.

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yabits, I could never serve a country that place me and my family in a concentration camp for being "Japanese". Like NEVER, so it is a wonder to me that any of them would serve those that hated them so much. Yea I hear about the minority that did not but they were a very very small minority. Pearl Harbor was a excuse to hate Japanese. Thus they are better people for excusing the government that trespassed against them and their families. Then again some Jews were in the German army and when discovered went from the front to the camps. They too tried to convince people they were good in this case Germans. ShootandScoot, so how many innocent ethic Japanese did they have to kill to be bad? Is 100 too many or could they have gotten away with a thousand and still be "good"?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Long overdue-R.I.P. ALL who died in service to their country !

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they were honored when they returned home! theres footage of it! a jp drama shows what happened Yes they were discriminated against BUT so were Japanese in their home country who came back to japan after living in the US. Bless the ones who did serve, they proved themselves & things got better after years as did our (US-JP) relationship. the war is the past. since then & to this day we (US & Japan) are great allies & WILL always be!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their citizenship was restored with the dissolution of the camps - and for those who had had enough of the U.S. and wanted to return to Japan, they were allowed to go. The people were left with little to nothing to their name and, unlike when they were transported to the camp, the government would not transport them out. They had to find their own transportation.

Yes there were some deaths in the camp, the one I read about was a man who went outside the camp's perimeter and was shot. After that they re-evaluated their policy and eventually let the detainees go outside the perimeter as long as they promised to be back inside by nightfall. (Seriously, they were so far from civilization, what were they going to do if they tried to break curfew?)

Japanese that ended up in the REAL POW camps had been identified prior to the war as suspicious and were rounded up on December 8th by the FBI. Their situation was different than the people who were subsequently sent to the "War Relocation Centers" because they were considered credible threats. Japanese nationals who were on American soil at the time were considered "the enemy" and treated accordingly.

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Maybe one day our neighbor to the north will face up to its shameful past on this issue.

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YuriOtani: "yabits, I could never serve a country that place me and my family in a concentration camp for being "Japanese"."

What the US, and subsequently Canadian government (under immense pressure), did to Japanese people and people of Japanese ethnicity was unforgivable, which is part of the point of this award. As another poster mentioned, at least the US in this case, as did Canada, acknowledges its wrong doing and honors the people in question. Japan, on the other hand STILL denies a lot of its past misdeeds and as such still fails to correct them and leading to further problems with its Asian neighbours. People could have been born here 20 generations ago but if it's known they are of Korean descent, for example, there is racism. If you recall, Japan kidnapped a WHOLE lot of Chinese and Koreans and forced them into labour in Japan, stripping them of their own nationalities and making them adopt Japanese ones. They then, after the war, stripped them of the forced nationality. Where are the apologies for these crimes?

My point is that you seem to be putting your moral standpoint at a higher standard than the government of a nation trying to correct ills of the past while Japan fails to do that very same thing. Again, at least the US government is addressing said ills.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

unreconstructed: "Maybe one day our neighbor to the north will face up to its shameful past on this issue."

If you're referring to Canada than perhaps you might want to read up a little bit before shoving your foot in your mouth -- the government officially apologized in 1988, as well as many groups protesting at the time of the internment camps and until a Royal Commission was formed at the behest of angry citizens in 1947 -- and paid redress.

Hopefully you took your shoe off before inserting the foot. :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you're referring to Canada than perhaps you might want to read up a little bit before shoving your foot in your mouth -- the government officially apologized in 1988,

Conservative Mulroney following Reagan's lead. I see.

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They followed the US in 1988 by passing the Royal Commission in 1947? Did they go back in time? Or perhaps you're talking about reparations that started as early as 1950 in Canada (when did they start in the US?). If you're referring to simply the apology issued in 1988, it did indeed come some months after the US decided to rightly apologize to those they victimized and put in internment camps, but the investigations that led to the apology became some years before.

Regardless, you were still dead wrong in saying what you said. You never told me how the foot tasted, BTW.

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smithinjapan, my main point is not bashing Americans but honoring those that served America after losing everything and them and their families being sent into camps. That shows a lot of faith toward their country. They are better people than me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You never told me how the foot tasted, BTW.

My foot is on the floor.

But I can point to Japanese-Americans like Senator Daniel Inouye and Gen. Eric Shinseki - both from Hawaii.

Yeah, you know, where President Obama was born.

Where are their Canadian equivalents, eh ????

Why won't Canadians let Nisei and their offspring fully share in the promise of a truly inclusive Canada, eh???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "smithinjapan, my main point is not bashing Americans but honoring those that served America after losing everything and them and their families being sent into camps. That shows a lot of faith toward their country."

It does indeed show a lot, but unfortunately you don't show that which you said you wanted to say in your posts. All I saw was bashing the US government in a way that can be construed as very hypocritical. Clearly the US government thinks along the same lines as you do, else they would not have given the awards or publicly apologized more than two decades ago. Yes, it does seem to be 'too little too late', but it's never so clear cut. I would say 'better late than never' is more apt.

unreconstructed: "Yeah, you know, where President Obama was born."

Do you even bother trying to comment on topic any more?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

smithinjapan, most of them are dead now, so it is too late. As for the prejudge it still goes on. Me and mine went to a American "brand" dealer and mine said more of the Honda Civic was made in America vs the Mustang. He said "they attacked us in 41", then the old goat got a good look at me and called me a "racial slur". No the US Congress passing something changes nothing. Second what another person or country doing something does not give license to do the same. Again my congratulations to the members of the Army units both with us and those who have passed away. I admire your ability to forgive and give yourself fully to your cause. Wish I had more of that in myself.

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smithinjapanNov. 03, 2011 - 08:00PM JST. If you recall, Japan kidnapped a WHOLE lot of Chinese and Koreans and forced them into labour in Japan, stripping them of their own nationalities and making them adopt Japanese ones. They then, after the war, stripped them of the forced nationality. Where are the apologies for these crimes?

Huh? This has nothing to do with Americans of Japanese ancestory. What Japan did to their neighboring countries has nothing to do with the Japanese-Amercians who lost civl rights without due process. Throughout the course of World War II, not a single incident of espionage or treason was found to be committed by Japanese Americans. The difficulty of committing treason while incarcerated cannot alone explain this absence of wrongdoing.

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Fadamor Nov. 03, 2011 - 01:22PM JST. Japanese that ended up in the REAL POW camps had been identified prior to the war as suspicious and were rounded up on December 8th by the FBI.

That is partially true. However, some of the Japanese-Americans initially went to normal internment camps and later identified as troublemakers, or other reasons and were sent to hardcore camps to places like Santa Fe throughout the war. After evaluation, some were released back to normal camps, some stayed longer and some just disappeared.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good job Congress.

Now get to work and pass the president's jobs bill!

Taka

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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