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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Sept. 6, 1945. p. 6


With War Relocation authorities and others working on housing problems, the orderly and well-spaced return of Japanese-Americans and Japanese nationals in the next few months should be carried out smoothly.

The war department and the Western Defense command have issued proclamations terminating the exclusion program whereby some 2300 Pajaro valley residents of Japanese ancestry - along with thousands of others from California, Oregon and Washington - were removed to inland relocation centers. During that time, hundreds of Nisei have gone into the armed forces and many have perished on far-flung battlefronts.

Approximately 80 evacuees have returned here already and the WRA officials predict about 40 per cent of the 2300 will come back. Work for the evacuees, these authorities say, is available.

It has been this newspaper's steady contention that return en masse would so complicate housing and other economic factors that incidents would occur despite the best efforts of the WRA and others who want to see law and order maintained.

There is no denying the fact that many in the Pajaro valley, for various reasons, do not wish the Japanese to return. However, with the exclusion ban lifted, under the laws of the land the evacuees are entitled to return to reclaim their property which was left behind more than three and a half years ago.

Maj.-Gen. H. C. Pratt, chief of the Western Defense command, in his proclamation terminating exclusion, said:

"All persons permitted to return to west coast areas by reason of the recision of individual exclusion orders should be accorded the same treatment and allowed to enjoy the same privileges accorded to other law-abiding citizens or residents."

If housing - and a program of hostels is being worked out - is provided, and the return is well-spaced, orderly and gradual, as relocation centers close, one by one, any threat of incidents will be greatly lessened.

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