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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Aug. 24, 1943. p. 1


Washington (UP) - The army wants no part of supervising the Japanese-Americans in relocation camps while agencies exist which "could and should" handle them efficiently.

Thus, the Dies subcommittee headed by Rep. John Costello, D., Calif., shied away from a recommendation that the War Department supplant the War Relocation Authority in this field.

"The War Department at this time has a sufficient burden in effectively conducting the war, because of which we know that the War Department is unwilling to assume any additional burdens which could and should be efficiently handled by other agencies of the government," Costello said in a report on its three months' investigation of WRA.

Costello's committee said that the WRA, under Director Dillon S. Myer, has released 23 members of the Butoku-Kai, an organization which it said is a youth branch of the notorious Black Dragon society pledged to "the enhancement of the spirit of Japanese military virtue" in this country.

In a scathing report signed by two members of the three man committee the WRA was held "incompetent" to supervise 106,000 Japanese-Americans with proper safeguard for the national security.

The report recommended, instead of army supervision, that the loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the disloyal Nisei, as the Japanese-Americans are called; that an intensive investigation be made of those seeking release from relocation camps, and that an intensive program of Americanization be followed in all WRA camps.

"It is conceded that every undesirable Japanese person will not be singled out," Costello said in commenting on the report, "but certainly the segregation program should include all those who have already indicated their loyalty to Japan on the questionnaires which were signed and submitted by the individual Japanese evacuees."

In many cases, the report stated, the Nisei were released on indefinite leave for outside employment, for temporary leaves (not exceeding 30 days) for private business, or seasonal leave for locally-needed employment, without sufficient investigation.

Because most of the relocation centers were established beyond the limits of military zones subject to martial law, Costello explained, it is not possible to prevent the release of Japanese persons who desire to be freed unless they are known to be disloyal and undesirable.

"Finally," he added, "it is to be hoped that the War Relocation Authority will undertake a thorough program of Americanization...unfortunately, it has been indicated that an effort has been made on the part of some subversive elements in the country to infiltrate into some Japanese organizations, and this can only be circumvented by a program of Americanization."

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.