Rep. Takano Statement on the Day of Remembrance and California’s Apology to the Japanese American Community

Washington, DC – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released this statement on the 78th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 that led to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and reacting to the formal apology the California State Legislature will issue to the Japanese American community for the role it played during Japanese internment.

“78 years after Executive Order 9066 was signed, we reflect on the pain and suffering endured by Japanese Americans in internment during World War II. On this Day of Remembrance, we must not forget the injustices perpetrated on more than 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry, including my parents and grandparents, or be indifferent to the tactics used to violate the civil liberties of these innocent Americans. With a few exceptions, political bodies – Congress and state legislatures – failed to stand up for their fellow Americans and resist allowing fear and discrimination to dictate government policy. This failure of political leadership led to the unjust policy of Japanese American internment and its effects are still being felt today. 

“Families like mine still bear the scars and pain incurred during this dark time in our nation’s history. The severe damage Executive Order 9066 inflicted on the Japanese American community was undeniable, and while President Ronald Reagan issued an apology to our community and reparations to survivors, we must still grapple with the inhumanity the Japanese American community endured at the hands of our government.

“I am proud that my home state of California will be passing a resolution issuing a formal apology to Japanese Americans for the role the state played in facilitating internment during World War II. This apology is long overdue, but it is important, nonetheless.

“We must take the necessary steps to prevent anything like Japanese American internment from happening again. That includes acknowledging the dark times in our past and condemning present policies that are unjustly targeting and inflicting damage on innocent communities. The Trump Administration’s fear mongering tactics are inhumane and un-American, and they echo the same tactics used to violate the civil liberties of thousands of Americans in World War II. Congress must ensure that no person is ever a target of discriminatory policies. That is why I have introduced the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act with Senator Hirono to help us prevent similar atrocities from ever occurring. Together, we can resist and fight back against the dangers this Administration’s policies pose to so many innocent people. 


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