Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News. Dec. 9, 1941. p. 2

SANTA CRUZ DIGS IN FOR DURATION OF WAR

"We are yours to command in this emergency," simply declared T. Y. Kadotani, official spokesman for the Santa Cruz Japanese association, as he addressed a special mass meeting of city and county officials at noon yesterday. The conclave was held at Hotel St. George. It was Japanese-called.

"I asked you city and county officials to meet with our association representatives, so you might know how we feel toward America," said Kadotani.

"As soon as the horrible news of the Honolulu disaster became public, I made arrangements for this gathering in the spirit of complete cooperation," he further stated.

In the Santa Cruz area there are 222 Japanese, he said. All the younger generation are citizens. The great majority of the family heads are not, he said.

KNIGHT SPEAKS

Nearly three times as many Japanese reside in the Watsonville area, said Kadotani.

The association spokesman was introduced by District Attorney Benjamin Knight.

"This is no mutual admiration gathering but a history-making meeting, where the Japanese of this city are making a pledge of loyalty to the United States," Knight declared.

LAW ABIDING

He asserted the local Japanese colony was one of the most law abiding groups within the county, with only one of their numbers ever having been arrested during Knight's tenure as district attorney.

Six of the leading association members, T. Kai, S. Ogawa, Sr., S. Owaga, Jr., M. Sugai, M. Iwanaga, and K. Miyahara, were present.

Both Ogawa and Iwanaga are native born Americans. The balance have lived in this country for more than 40 years, it was said.

Mayor Edwin L. Rich, Supervisor George Morgan, Sheriff J. R. Devitt, Undersheriff Lowell Rountree, Chief of Police Al Huntsman, Commissioners Amos Roff, Phil Sousa, Mabry Bibbins, and Fred Howe, Postmaster Fred Hale, State Senator Ray Judah, Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wyckoff, Jay Harris, City Attorney Francis Hall and Donald Younger were present, representing city, county and state officialdom.

Comments from each of the officers, county and municipal leaders present revealed acceptance of the assurances of the Japanese society for full patriotism and cooperation, but crystalized an attitude the Japanese people must prove their sincerity by their actions from this time on.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. Reproduced by permission.