California governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that his administration plans to apologize for the mistreatment of American-born Japanese-Americans during World War II.
During a February 7 speech at the California Democratic Party convention, Newsom called on all state agencies to work together “to present a resolution” to the Japanese-American community of the state, stating that he wanted to “be the governor that we should all wish our grandparents had had.”
Newsom cited President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proclamation of Japanese-American internment, and President Harry S. Truman’s signing the Japanese-American exclusion order and “Voluntary Evacuation and Internment Act of 1942” as being the start of the National Guard’s involvement in the “incarceration” of Japanese-Americans in California.
A year earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order that resulted in the internment of American-born Japanese-Americans. Within a decade of the order’s issuance, more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans had been relocated to military installations such as Camp No. 4 near Stockton, California, and also incarcerated in Northern California.
In Friday’s speech, Newsom reminded California Democratic members of the state Senate that they had appointed him to be the state’s governor in part because he “will not shy away from being counted.”
“So I look forward to being a partner with you in calling all Californians to this historic moment,” Newsom said.
In July, Mayor Andy Berke of San Francisco apologized to former residents of the city for the city’s treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
In an address at the California Democratic Party convention, San Francisco Mayor Andy Berke said that he had grown up outside of San Francisco during the internment of Japanese-Americans. Now in his second term as mayor, Berke also said that he wanted to “rededicate ourselves to learning and never forget the past,” and that he was “proceeding to commemorate all of those who contributed to freedom and security for all our neighbors.”
On February 8, U.S. President Donald Trump apologized in person to the Japanese-American community for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He said, “I know you suffered greatly. I know it was a very unfair thing that happened. I personally feel so badly about it. I apologize.”