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Joining the Bay Area’s Japanese American community on Sunday, February 16th, ING commemorated Japanese American internment during WWII at the annual 2003 “Day of Remembrance”.
Under Executive Order #9066, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the removal of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, of whom most were American citizens, into concentration camps, which were bound by barbed wire and guard towers. In the months preceding internment, 31,000 men of Japanese descent were arrested and detained, along with German & Italian men. Several thousand other Japanese were deported without adequate reason other than being labeled “potentially dangerous”. The US government later officially apologized to the Japanese American community for its actions, and noted: “Widespread ignorance about Americans of Japanese descent contributed to a policy conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger at Japan. A grave personal injustice was done to the American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any prohibitive evidence against them, were excluded, removed and detained by the United States during World War II.”
Writing on the internment, Senator Daniel K. Inouye noted that, “It reminds us of the painful period when America, caught up in the passion of war, betrayed the principles of liberty and justice so basic to its own self-image. This reminder is necessary if we are to avoid the repetition of those tragic years.”
Speakers at the event drew parallels between the political environment of Japanese Americans in 1942 and Muslim Americans today. ING’s message to the Japanese community drew a standing ovation.
Congressman Mike Honda, who also spoke at the event, reiterated the need for the Japanese community to stand strongly with the Muslim community and with those whose civil liberties are being violated and to be vocal in preventing the gross violations of civil rights and liberties taking place under the guise of Patriot Acts.
To learn more about Japanese internment, please visit:http://janet.org/janet_history/100Works.html