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


Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. March 1, 1942. p. 10

PACIFIC COAST JAPANESE PREPARE FOR EVACUATION TO INLAND STATES WHICH THEY ADMIT IS INEVITABLE

American-Born Leaders State Sacrifice Of Property Their Contribution To U.S. Safety

Los Angeles, Feb. 28 (AP)--Mike M. Masaoka of San Francisco, national secretary and field executive of the Japanese American Citizens' League, disclosed late today that his organization is preparing all Japanese-American and foreign born alike--for an ultimate mass evacuation of the Pacific coast.

Circulars have been sent to key places telling all Japanese to get ready for a movement to some inland location under government supervision and to abandon property in California, Oregon and Washington.

"We are preparing our people," said the youthful official, "to move out. We want them to go without bitterness, without rancor, and with the feeling that this can be their contribution to the defense of the United States.

"We want to convince them that it will be patriotic to make this sacrifice, and a sacrifice it will be. We want them to go protesting but one thing--their patriotism to the flag of the United States."

Masaoka said the campaign was undertaken voluntarily by the Japanese American league, and was not guided by war developments "or the work of pressure groups seeking the ouster of our people."

"Why jeopardize this country or our people by trying to insist on staying, or even by pursuing our legal rights as citizens of this country to contest evacuation?" Masaoka asked, referring in the latter phrase to American born Japanese.

"Naturally our people would leave instantly on orders from the army, but we hope to leave, you might say, before the army sees fit to kick us out."

100,000 JAPANESE

Masoaka said the league of 20,000 members represents more than 100,000 Japanese on the Pacific, with property estimated at $100,000,000.

"We seek to make our people look at this movement as a sort of adventure, such as our fathers and mothers undertook when they came to this country.

In this respect we'll have it easier than they did, because we are better equipped than they were, and we will have the benefit of agencies and leaders trained in administering a life in these new surroundings, wherever they may be."

OPPOSITION WANES

Inland states' opposition to receiving enemy aliens, particularly Japanese, who may be evacuated from the Pacific coast, appeared in some instances, to be decreasing.

Representatives of two counties in Utah invited the government to send up to 3,000 Japanese aliens to them to work farms on a lease or share crop basis. Gov. Herbert B. Maw, however, has expressed opposition to importation of enemy aliens unless absolutely necessary.

Gov. Ralph I. Carr of Colorado announced his state was not inviting enemy aliens but that if the war department considered it essential, Colorado would provide temporary quarters for them as "the only patriotic choice open to the state."

State officials in Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico all have opposed suggestions that aliens be moved there from the Pacific states. Arizona has a law which forbids any alien to hold an interest in real estate.

EVACUATION IMMINENT

Meanwhile, Rep. John M. Tolan, (D. Calif.) whose house committee is holding a series of west coast hearings on the alien situation, said in Seattle that he had been informed stringent alien evacuation orders were imminent. He telegraphed President Roosevelt urging appointment of an alien property custodian and a co-ordinator for enemy alien problems before the evacuation order is issued or simultaneously with it.

Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, commander of the fourth army, has been authorized by President Roosevelt to designate military areas in the western defense command area and remove from those areas all persons, aliens or citizens, whose presence he considers dangerous.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Reproduced by permission.