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Personal Justice Denied

Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians

Tetsuden Kashima

Publication Year: 2011

“Personal Justice Denied is one of the seminal documents illuminating recent Asian American history. Its findings made possible the long-delayed monetary redress for the unjustified wartime incarceration of most mainland Japanese Americans in concentration camps.” - Roger Daniels

Published by: University of Washington Press


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pp. C-1

Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

We often take our civil rights and civil liberties for granted. When we vote, we go to a polling place and privately vote our conscience, casting our ballot for a candidate or issue of choice. We are free to express our opinions on any controversial issue among friends, family, or others. We also can go to an after-hours...

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pp. xv-xxvi

From December 7, 1941, through September 29, 1947,1 the United States used its warpowers to incarcerate more than 110,000 American citizens and resident aliens. It confined most of them in barbed wire centers, under armed guard, where they were held for an unspecified time. This action was taken against...

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pp. xxvii-xxxii

The Commission's report is rooted in both its hearings and in archival research. Between July and December 1981, the Commission held 20 days of hearings and took testimony from more than 750 witnesses: Japanese Americans and...

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pp. 1-24

The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians was established by act of Congress in 1980 and directed to...

Part I: Nisei and Issei

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1. Before Pearl Harbor

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pp. 27-46

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked and crippled the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. Ten weeks later, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 under which the War Department excluded from the West Coast everyone of Japanese ancestry- both American citizens and...

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2. Executive Order 9066

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pp. 47-92

At dawn on December 7, 1941, Japan began bombing American ships and planes at Pearl Harbor. The attack took our forces by surprise. Japanese aircraft carriers and warships had left the Kurile Islands for Pearl Harbor on November 26, 1941, and Washington had sent a war warning message indicating the...

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3. Exclusion and Evacuation

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pp. 93-116

With the signing of Executive Order 9066, the course of the President and the War Department was set. American citizens of Japanese ancestry would be required to move from the West Coast on the basis of wartime military necessity, and...

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4. Economic Loss

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pp. 117-134

Exclusion from the West Coast imposed very substantial economic losses on the Nikkei. The complete picture of those losses is a mosaic of thousands of personal histories of individual families. Owners and operators of farms and businesses either sold their income-producing assets under distress-sale...

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5. Assembly Centers

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pp. 135-148

On March 31, 1942, the evacuation began. Until August 7, 1942, groups left their homes for assembly centers, directed by one of the 108 "Civilian Exclusion Orders."2 About 92,000 people were evacuated to the centers,3 where they remained...

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6. Relocation Centers

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pp. 149-184

Near the end of May 1942, the first evacuees began to arrive at the relocation centers. 1 Most came directly from the WCCA assembly centers, although a few arrived from other places, as shown in Figure A. Evacuees had been assured that the WRA centers...

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7. Loyalty: Leave and Segregation

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pp. 185-212

By October 1942, the government was holding over 100,000 evacuees in relocation centers. Evacuation had been an emergency measure, but politics and the chimera of a threat to military security had sentenced the evacuees to indefinite...

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8. Ending the Exclusion

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pp. 213-244

Historical writing about the exclusion, evacuation and detention of the ethnic Japanese has two great set pieces-analysis of events which led to Executive Order 9066, and life in the relocation camps. 1 In large measure, these events were accessible to historians from the moment they took place; equally important...

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9. Protest and Disaffection

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pp. 245-252

The loyalty questionnaire brought each evacuee a choice: would he believe the country's rhetoric and hope for his own future in the United States, or protest the squalid injustice of camp life and the betrayal of American promises? Rage and protest were deeply...

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10. Military Service

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pp. 253-260

FollOwing the attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Department stopped taking Japanese Americans into the military, and many already in service were released. Almost from the beginning, two institutions were exempt: the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) and the 100th Battalion. By...

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11. Hawaii

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pp. 261-282

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, nearly 158,O()() persons ofJapanese ancestry lived in Hawaii-more than 35 percent of the population. Surely, ifthere were dangers from espionage, sabotage and fifth column activity by American citizens and resident...

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12. Germans and German Americans

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pp. 283-294

In the first six months of 1942, the United States was engaged in active warfare along the Atlantic Coast with the Germans, who had dispatched submarines to American Atlantic waters, where they patrolled outside harbors and roadsteads. Unconvoyed American ships were torpedoed and destroyed with comparative...

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13. After Camp

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pp. 295-302

More than forty years have passed since Americans and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes on the West Coast to the barbed-wire camps of the interior. Forty years fade memories and transform stereotypes. Today, Japanese...

Appendix: Latin Americans

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pp. 303-314

Part II: The Aleuts

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War and Evacuation in Alaska

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pp. 317-360

About 10,000 years ago migrants from Asia to North America settled on the remote Aleutian Islands. These migrants were the Native Aleuts, who proudly called themselves Unangan, "we the people."...

Notes to Parts I and II

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pp. 361-352

Part III: Recommendations

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pp. 455-468

In 1980 Congress established a bipartisan Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, and directed it to:...

Part IV: Papers for the Commission

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Addendum to 'Personal Justice Denied'

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pp. 471-478

There have been recent reports in the press1 which point out that the Commission's report, Personal Justice Denied, does not make reference to the multi-volume Department of Defense publication, The "Magic" Background of Pearl Harbor. 2 Those volumes contain Japanese diplomatic cables of 1941 which American


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pp. 479-493

Back Cover

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pp. 493

E-ISBN-13: 9780295802343
E-ISBN-10: 0295803134
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295975580
Print-ISBN-10: 029597558X

Publication Year: 2011