Community remembers, reflects on 80th anniversary of Japanese internment

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed an executive order that forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes during WWII.
Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 1:56 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2022 at 5:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Saturday marks the 80th anniversary of Japanese internment, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is pushing to repeal a law that allowed the forced relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, forcing 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes without trial, due process, or any allegation of wrongdoing.

Along with losing their property and assets — which were sold, confiscated or destroyed — incarcerated individuals and families were housed in isolated and dilapidated camps.

The order was not formally terminated until February 1976.

“This horrific treatment of Japanese people, simply because of their ancestry, is a stain on our country’s history,” Hirono said.

“In honor of the sacrifices made by those who survived such horrendous treatment, it is our responsibility to ensure that history does not repeat itself. We must do everything in our power to prevent the mistreatment of not just AAPI communities, but also all marginalized groups.”

Amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, Hirono reintroduced the Neighbors Not Enemies Act on Thursday to abolish the Aliens Enemies Act signed in 1798 — an anti-immigrant law that allows detention and removal of foreign nationals and U.S. residents of a specific country without due process during wartime.

To commemorate this National Day of Remembrance, a virtual event is being held Saturday and Sunday with various programs and panel discussions featuring leaders from across the country including the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii President and Executive Director Nate Gyotoku.

For more information or to participate, click here.

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