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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Nov. 15, 1944. p. 4


Under the Constitution, American-born Japanese cannot legally be prevented from returning to California once the military prohibition against their residence here is lifted. But the problem is not simply one of law codes, and any attempt to solve it by legalistic means alone must surely fail.

The Japanese problem has its roots deeper than racial misunderstanding or dislike, sharpened by the Jap attack against the United States. In California it is an old story; otherwise, the feeling against the Japanese would be tempered more than it is by the fact that thousands of them are serving the United States loyally in the armed forces.

The story of the Japanese in California before the war is that of a large concentrated minority, unassimilable and acquisitive, whose drive toward acquisition was given added force by a standard of living lower than its neighbors.The result was the preemption by the Japanese of certain vital parts of the state's economy, and a friction that overflowed from the economic to other areas of human contact. Such a situation was not healthy for either California or the Japanese, and many believe that a return to it after the war should be avoided.

If the loyal Japanese remaining here could be induced to disperse throughout the United States after the war instead of concentrating in one area, the problem might largely solve itself. That is an educational job, and one that the War Relocation authority could well tackle now at the camps maintained by it for the Japanese.

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