Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity

日系アメリカ人の地位回復を果たした「市民自由法」制定25周年を記念して、全米日系人博物館は、2013年7月4日から7日にかけてワシントン州シアトルで、第4回全米会議『Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity』を行いました。この会議では、民主主義、正義、尊厳をテーマに、新しい見識、学術的論考、コミュニティの観点を紹介しました。

このシリーズでは、今回の会議で発表されたさまざまな視点からみる日系アメリカ人の体験談だけでなく、会議に参加した方々の反応などを中心に紹介します。

会議についての詳しい内容は、全米会議のウェブサイトをご参照ください>> 

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Legalizing Detention: Segregated Japanese Americans and the Justice Department’s Renunciation Program - Part 9 of 9

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The government pursued a hard line, determined to challenge the bid of each renunciant who sought restoration of citizenship. In bleak contrast to Goodman’s decision to restore citizenship en masse, the DOJ began sorting renunciants into 22 categories of offenses it characterized as serious enough to deny restoration of citizenship.1 Collins wound up spending many years battling the negative administrative classifications the DOJ assigned to his thousands of individual clients.

Collins faced opposition not only from the DOJ, but from the National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, headed by Roger Baldwin.2 In ...

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Legalizing Detention: Segregated Japanese Americans and the Justice Department’s Renunciation Program - Part 8 of 9

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Creating Alien Enemies 

Edward Ennis’ Deputy in the DOJ Alien Enemy Control Unit, John Burling, was the designated hearing officer for the renunciation hearings at Tule Lake. Burling said that the renunciation hearings would be a careful, deliberate process, making it difficult to renounce. Instead, the DOJ set up what amounted to a deportation mill, stripping Americans of their citizenship and providing the government with a legal fig-leaf that justified the individual detentions. Burling even recommended “accepting these applications on the spot, and holding the required interview at the same time.” In a December 23, 1944 memo ...

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Legalizing Detention: Segregated Japanese Americans and the Justice Department’s Renunciation Program - Part 7 of 9

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Why Did They Renounce? 

After its publication in 1946, The Spoilage remained for many decades the primary source on Tule Lake. This seminal work cited allegations of harassment by pro-Japan groups that led to the mass renunciations, using field notes written after the war ended, September 25, 1945 and December 19, 1945.1 Renunciants who sought to regain their U.S. citizenship from the Department of Justice recognized that the desired explanation for their renunciation was to blame the pro-Japan groups for pressure and coercion. Government records declassified in recent decades and interviews with renunciants, however, document ...

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Legalizing Detention: Segregated Japanese Americans and the Justice Department’s Renunciation Program - Part 6 of 9

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Stampede to Renounce 

Public Law 405, authored by U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle, permitted American citizens to renounce their citizenship during time of war. Congress passed it and President Roosevelt signed it into law on July 1, 1944. This denationalization law was directed at the Japanese Americans in Tule Lake after widespread newspaper coverage of the November 1943 disturbances at Tule Lake led to “intensification of the idea that some law should be passed depriving these people of citizenship, and which would result in their ultimate deportation.”1

U.S. District Judge Louis Goodman would later ...

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Legalizing Detention: Segregated Japanese Americans and the Justice Department’s Renunciation Program - Part 5 of 9

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Western Defense Command Preparation for Individual Detention 

On December 17, 1944, Major General H. C. Pratt, Commander, WDC, rescinded the Mass Exclusion Order that ordered all Japanese Americans removed from the West Coast. Effective January 2, 1945, individual disloyalty, instead of race, would be used as the test for exclusion from the Pacific States. It also provided that “any person of Japanese ancestry about whom there is available information indicating disloyalty will continue to be excluded on an individual basis.”1

In the months leading up to the announcement ending Japanese American exclusion from the West Coast ...

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