69 million page views

Mr. Pipes is right

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by W.J.Hopwood (United States), Jan 2, 2005 at 15:09

As a veteran of World War II who clearly remembers the military reasons at the time for the so-called "Japanese-American" internment and believes they were correctly portrayed by Michelle Malkin in her recent book, "In Defense of Internment," I commend Mr. Pipes for his well-needed remarks on that subject. As can be already seen, Mr. Pipes' views are already under attack by those whose current ideology seems to have warped all perspective of the wartime realities of either WWWII or of the present time.

I believe a few additional facts with regard to the WWII Japanese "internment" are in order. Actually, two-thirds of the ADULTS affected were Japanese nationals, enemy aliens subject to internment under long-standing (and still effective) U.S. law. Additionally, the remaining third of the ADULTS who were U.S. citizens by birth were almost all citizens of Japan (dual citizens), thousands having been educated in Japan, many returning to the U.S. holding reserve positions in the Japanese armed forces.

Michelle Malkin has properly given attention to the importance of the pre-war decoded Japanese messages which, along with other intellegence, revealed the existence of subversive activities in the Japanese community. The importance of such information was later described by Asst. Secretary of War in WWII, John J. McCloy, in testimony before Congress on June 21, 1984 when he said: "It was a fact that the (Pearl Harbor) attack was supplemented (unknown to but a few at that time) by information giving the foregoing officials (as well as a few others) clear knowledge of the existence of subversive Japanese agencies designed to operate in this country to meet further attacks or subversions should any similar attack occur..." Such information was directly responsible for the decision to evacuate resident Japanese enemy aliens and their families from West Coast war zones, not the current claim that they were victims "racism." Had racism been the reason, ALL Japanese would have been affected by the evacuation orders. Thousands in other areas were not disturbed at all.

Over 33,000 of those evacuated soon left the relocation camps for outside employment in the East, more than 4,000 others left to spend the war years in colleges. More than 5,000 Japanese-Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship and requested expatriation to fight for Japan.

As for the monetary losses suffered by those ethnic Japanese relocated or interned, the U.S. government did everything it could to keep such losses to a minimum. Personal property was stored at government expense and leases were managed by the Federal Reserve System with monies being held in escrow for the internees. And then, after the war, in 1948 Congress passed an evacuation claims act by which proven losses could be compensated. Over 26,000 claims were satisfactorily settled by negotiation in amounts up to $100,000,with only 15 ever being appealed to the U.S.Court of Claims. And then, of course, in 1988 Congress rewarded everyone evacuated or interned, including former enemy aliens now living in Japan, with $20,000 each with an apology.

The persistent call by some that because of the WWII "Japanese internment" experience we should now avoid taking any common-sense action against those groups which we have good reason to suspect contains those dedicated to killing Americans, is, to say the least, unreasonable and overdone.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Mr. Pipes is right by W.J.Hopwood

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)