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Additional Comments from an Actual Internee

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by Edwin S. Fujinaka (United States), Dec 30, 2004 at 03:03

After reviewing all of the notes posted here, I have to compliment your readers for some very thoughtful comments and analysis. I believe that the majority of the comments side with me in agreeing that some profiling on the basis or race and ethnicity is justified, but a blanket internment of large groups of people based on race and/or ethnicity is not. Since I haven't read Michelle's book, I can only comment on some interviews that I've seen on TV and your characterization of her position. I presume that she has not linked the Battaan Death March to people like me, an American citizen by dint of being born in San Francisco (many others have made such a linkage including one or two on this board). She does seem to try to spin some extremely limited "facts" into her strong conclusion that the internment of vitually 100% of the Japanese-Americans living in Los Angeles was justified. She argues that it was justified based on "limited information available at the time" but I wonder if she or you argue that the internment was justified based on the information that is available now, today. I believe that the FBI has generally said that there were no instances of espionage or sabotage attributable to ethnic Japanese during WW2. If this is wrong, I'd appreciate more details.

BTW, I think that some people might be amused by the irony of my being drafted into the Army after WW2 and sent to Nevada and Eniwetok Atoll to participate in the above ground nuclear tests. I have actually seen at least a dozen and taken data and done analysis related to these tests. So, in addition to the two years incarcerated in the WW2 internment camps, I have spent an additional two years as a forced draftee into the US Army. Looking back, I have no lingering resentment towards either experience except that it pains me to have to defend my patriotism and Americanism once again especially against attack by people that I generally respect and admire.

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