Japanese-Americans and World War II

The naivete expressed by Ida C. Mapes in her letter of Oct. 1 concerning the reparations to Japanese-Americans is almost beyond comprehension.

Ms. Mapes, in her diatribe against the paying of reparations to innocent people who lost their homes, estates and livelihood as a result of congressional wartime panic, should read again what she has written. Would she really had preferred imprisonment to rationing, long lines, blackouts, smoke screens, and swing and graveyard shifts? I think not.

The letter writer's concern for American men who fought in insect-infested jungles of the Pacific apparently does not extend to American men, albeit of Japanese ancestry, who fought the Germans in Europe. Note for example the outstanding battle record of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, members of whom addressed their letters home to the "camps" Ms. Mapes finds so acceptable.

The Japanese-Americans were no more responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor than the Italian-Americans were responsible for the attack on Ethiopia or the German-Americans responsible for the invasion of Poland. However, the Japanese-Americans were incarcerated whereas the Italian-Americans and German-Americans were not. The token reparation is a latter-day apology by our government to the Americans of Japanese ancestry for the incredible waste they were forced to endure.



An incomplete and misattributed version of this letter was published on Saturday .

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