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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. July 13, 1945. p. 3



To the editor:
I just read Capt. Lettunich's letter carried in your Readers Referendum June 19. Apparently the captain either has not been associated with the American-Japanese he speaks of, or his association has been so close that he has allowed it to close his eyes to certain facts.

He states that there has been no discriminations shown toward Americans of German or Italian descent which "is as it should be" and I agree with him. However, had these Americans of German and Italian descent adopted the same attitude the so-called American-Japanese did, it would probably have been an entirely different story.

The results Japan achieved at Pearl Harbor were largely due to espionage by Japanese who chose Hawaii as their home and they and their offsprings were considered and accepted as good Americans. These same "Americans" not only provided Japan with information that made the attack possible, but participated actively in furthering the Japanese cause at the time of the attack. If Japan had succeeded in getting as far as the Pacific coast, I believe that a great many American-Japanese there would have done the same without a moment's hesitation. Apparently the officials charged with the defense of our country felt the same way.

I don't say that all American-Japanese are traitors. No doubt there are quite a number that are completely loyal to the United States and an injustice will be done if they are denied the right to return to their homes and take up where they were forced to leave off when the government found it necessary to relocate them. A far greater injustice will be done to many more if we allow a reoccurance of Pearl Harbor. Merely defeating Japan is not going to insure peace with her, as was very clearly demonstrated some 25 years ago in Germany. Every precaution should be taken to see that Japan is in no position to make another try. In my mind, keeping all Japanese out of areas where it would be possible for them to carry on with espionage in any form is, while maybe a very small detail, one of those precautions.

If these Americans of Japanese descent could be segregated the problem would be solved; but this is next to impossible. I think that in the best interests of all concerned these Americans of Japanese descent should make the best of a bad situation, and if possible return to the old country at the earliest convenience. I doubt very much if I could ever accept them again as a neighbor in any sense of the word; and I believe that there are a great many who feel the same way.

China, July 2, 1945,
Army Air Force,
c/o Postmaster, N.Y., N.Y.

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