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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Feb. 4, 1942. p. 1



Pajaro valley's alien Japanese population will accept quietly the government's edict, removing them from a coastal area roughly bounded by State Highway No. 1, I. Motoki, prominent local Japanese, declared Tuesday.

He said that if clarification of the government's order confirms the inclusion of Japanese aliens living west of Watsonville's Main street, a Japanese committee will appeal to the civilian defense council for assistance in housing the ousted Japanese nationals.

"We must comply with the law," said Motoki, "but we don't as yet know how." He pointed out that there is a serious shortage of houses available to Japanese on the east-of-Main street side.

Twenty-three families within the city limits would be affected by the order. Not all members of the family are aliens, however, but non-aliens would probably want to move to keep the families intact. Average size of a Japanese family is five.

In areas outside of Watsonville Japanese families with one or more alien members are:

Roache district and Larkin valley - 26 families.
Beach road district - 15 families.
Pajaro - three families.
Springfield and Trafton district - four families.

Motoki said that it would be absurd to deny that there are no pro-Japanese living in the valley. He said it was his personal opinion, however, that moving out Japanese aliens would not entirely achieve the government's purpose.

The average age of the Japanese alien in the Pajaro valley, he said, is 57 years. Almost without exception they have devoted their entire lives to hard labor, and at 57 are old and growing feeble. These people wish to lead peaceful lives and are not the element of potential trouble-makers.

Motoki said he believed the loyal Japanese could do a better job of policing the entire Japanese population than any government, city or county organization could do. "We know what they think as well as what they say, which is something no American could know. I don't think putting aliens in concentration camps or the equivalent would entirely solve the problem."

About half of the younger Japanese population has attended Japanese schools here, Motoki said in answer to a question. Some Japanese schools use textbooks from Japan, but in Watsonville the California textbook has been used. The local school was disbanded Dec. 8.

There are some 32 Japanese associations in northern California but in Watsonville there are no secret societies of the type outlawed by government order, Motoki said.

Those Japanese who have made the practice of returning to Japan periodically are those who are most influenced by Japanese doctrines and loyalties, said Motoki and their records will speak for themselves.

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