Why were Japanese Americans Interned?
Long-standing racial prejudice in both countries
Increased Yellow Peril fears, 1930s
----fear of Japanese espionage
----fear of Japanese invasion
----loyalty of Japanese Americans questioned
Politics, not National Security
"Aftermath of Pearl Harbor" (Densho Project)
Reflections on Pearl Harbor
Interview with Daniel Inouye
-Increased anxiety about national security after attack
-West coast leaders push for internment
-Rationale for "military necessity" - removal of Japanese is necessary for security of Pacific Coast
Executive Order 9066
"Military Necessity" Rationale
-Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt
-"New Order on Aliens Awaited," San Francisco News, March 2, 1942
-"Gov. Olson (California) Wants All Japs Moved," San Francisco News, 3/6/42
-"Their Best Way to Show Loyalty," San Francisco News, 3/6/42
"Removal and Incarceration" (Densho Project)
U.S. Government Film on "Military Necessity"
-No proof of any sabotage by Japanese Americans
-Removal and incarceration violated the 5th Amendment of the Constitution ("due process of law") and the 14th Amendment ("equal protection under the law for all citizens")
Japanese American Responses
-Korematsu v. US: Supreme Court held that the wartime internment of American citizens of Japanese descent was constitutional.
-Accommodation as an expressions of loyalty
-Service in the military
-No-no boys - draft resisters
How did the Korematsu Case Get Overturned in the 1980s?
-1960s civil rights movements challenge U.S. policies of discrimination
-Changing attitudes about discrimination, racial equality, social inclusion, righting historical injustices
-Asian American activism: Japanese Americans begin to organize to remember, preserve Asian American history and to seek redress and reparations for wartime actions
-Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (1979-1983) reports that a "grave injustice" was done to Japanese Americans
-Academic research finds that the government withheld evidence casting doubt on the "military necessity" of exiling and incarcerating Japanese Americans
-"Righting a Wrong" (Densho Project)
-"Coram Nobis" writ on Korematsu provided that a conviction can be vacated if new evidence can be shown to cast doubt on legality of conviction
-U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Patel overturns conviction in 1983: ""It stands as a caution that in times of distress the shield of military necessity and national security must not be used to protect governmental actions from close scrutiny and accountability."
Links for Paper #2
Paper #2 Guidelines - download 3877_WW2_Paper.docx
If you register at the free Densho Archive you gain access to an amazing array of historical documents (including full video interviews) related to the four cases.
If you do not want to register for the archive, you can still use the Densho Encyclopedia to access articles, documents, and short interview excerpts about the four cases.
Summary of Fred Korematsu v. U.S., 320 U.S. 115 (1943)
National Public Radio: "Honoring a Japanese American Who Fought Against Internment Camps," Feb. 2, 2014
Fred Korematsu Obituary, New York Times, April 1, 2005