Diplomatic row over statue honoring "Comfort Women" victims.
American tank crews listen as Bernard Herzog who was liberated from the camp of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. Herzog lost 78 pounds (35 kg) and suffered from beriberi, which is most likely the cause of the swollen legs.
On this day, April 28, 1952, the Treaty of San Francisco came into force (after having been signed September 8, 1951).
The treaty officially ended World War II (six years after combat!!), allocated compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes, ended the Allies' military occupation, and return sovereignty to Japan. It is the first notable treaty to make extensive use of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
By Article 11 Japan accepted the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan and agreed to carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan.
On this day, February 19, 1942, FDR signed Executive Order 9066. Clearly one of the most sad days in American history, this action resulted in more than 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were evicted from the West Coast of the United States and held in internment camps across the country.
The University of California JARDA project suggests that although the Japanese American population in Hawaii was nearly 40% of the population of Hawaii itself, only a few thousand people were detained there, suggesting that their mass removal on the West Coast was motivated by other reasons than "military necessity."
In August 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, apologizing to the Japanese American internees and offering $20,000 to survivors of the camps.
On August 1, 1993, President Clinton sent each survivor or the camps a personal apology and, in January 1998, he gave Fred Korematsu received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Korematsu was arrested for remaining in his home and not reporting to the local Assembly Center. He was convicted of violating E.O. 9066. The judgment was later overturned.)
Many Japanese-Americans have still not received just compensation for properties taken during the internment process.
On this day, March 30, 2005, Fred Korematsu died of respitory failure at his home in California.
He had said at the vacating of his immoral conviction: “I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed, or color.” He also said, “If anyone should do any pardoning, I should be the one pardoning the government for what they did to the Japanese-American people.”
On his deathbed: "I'll never forget my government treating me like this. And I really hope that this will never happen to anybody else because of the way they look, if they look like the enemy of our country”. “Protest, but not with violence, and don’t be afraid to speak up. One person can make a difference, even if it takes forty years."
Thomas E. Keefe
Assistant Professor of Humanities,