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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Dec. 28, 1944. p. 4


We have been asked what other editors of smaller city daily newspapers think about the lifting of the exclusion order against west coast Japanese. Through the cooperation of the United Press, we can pass on the following editorial comments on the matter:

"In calm retrospect of the entire action," comments the Orange Daily News, "beginning with the first evacuation orders issued in March, 1942, and ending with the present permissive return order effective Jan. 2, it has been a situation fraught with delicacy and involving impairment of some of the basic freedoms guaranteed United States citizens under the constitution. Let it be repeated that the original evacuation order was strictly a matter of military expediency and as such was accepted in good grace by the great majority of the evacuees."

Declaring there should not be any hasty or ill-conceived action taken against these people, the Vallejo News-Chronicle notes, "there has not been a single act of sabotage credited to the Japanese on the Pacific coast, and they had plenty of opportunity for such action in the period between Pearl Harbor and the great round up by the FBI shortly thereafter."

But why the order was given at this time puzzles the Ontario Daily Report, which feels "anyone familiar with the situation knows that entirely aside from the racial feeling, there is literally no place for them to live comfortably. The Japanese residence areas in the cities have been filled with imported war workers, many of them negroes. The farms and ranches of the Japanese are being worked by others for the duration. Where will these returned Japanese be welcomed?"

Yet, despite the overwhelming opposition to their return on the part of Californians, opines the San Rafael Independent, "we must remember that any serious clashes with the Japanese here will be reason enough for reprisals against our own men now held in Jap prison camps. However suspicious we may feel toward those who return, however we may decline to accept them in toleration as before, the consideration of our own sons safety should stay the hands of any whose misguided patriotism prompts physical action against returned Japanese citizens."

"A few people are open-minded on the subject," concedes the Hanford Sentinel, "but the majority - right or wrong - don't want to see the Japanese around until later, much later. They seem to believe that this is to the best interests of the Nisei as well as themselves, for they seek to avoid 'unavoidable incidents' that might otherwise be caused by unstable emotions and other circumstances of the moment."

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