X-Message-Number: 16777
Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 10:20:10 -0700
From: Lee Corbin <>
Subject: Japanese Internment

Mike Perry writes

I had written

>>Military authorities estimated that perhaps as much as five
>>percent of the Japanese-American population would have welcomed
>>a Japanese invasion of the west coast.

I wish to apologize for an inaccuracy here.  I actually read
once that military authorities estimated that about *one-fifth*
of the Japanese-American population would have welcomed an
invasion.  In an earlier post, I described how it would be
only natural that this were so.  In addition to the disaffected
young men I described, we also know that people in any such 
situation are only too eager to help the invaders (just imagine
how a German sub-population of France would have reacted to
a German invasion of France).  Besides, it may be only prudent:
those Japanese-Americans who did not rush to support the invaders,
and aid them in every way, would be under suspicion themselves.

>I hadn't heard of the Black Dragon, but I have studied the 
>Japanese-American incarceration, and I strongly disagree with
>the  conclusion that it was "absolutely necessary."  Innocent
>people lost their property, not to be recovered,

Yes.  It has always been perfectly clear that the failure to
return their property was a disgrace.  But this needs to be
separated from the action of internment itself, for which there
was no alternative.  Even if God had waved a magic wand, and
the Japanese-American population had become inhumanly loyal to
the United States, the danger to them from the Anglos would have
warranted separation.

>in addition to undergoing a long detention without trial or due

There simply wouldn't have been time for it.  Besides, how could
you prove *which* one-fifth of the population would one day aid
the invading army?

>Hawaii had a much larger fraction of Japanese-Americans than did

>California at the time, yet it was unmolested while Californians
>were subjected to the infamous "relocation."

You're right; I can't explain that.

>Yet did a massive uprising start in Hawaii?

Well, an invasion of the Hawaiian Islands never occurred, thanks
to an oversight by Admiral Yamamoto.

>The remark made about German-Americans not being similarly harassed
>(and not misbehaving as a consequence of being left alone; one could
>include Italian-Americans too) is also relevant.

For some reason, European immigrants assimilated to an amazing
degree.  The history of the times is replete with tales of
many of them quite eager to cast off any association with the
mother country.  Vast numbers (helped by racial similarity, no
doubt) had already intermarried.  The situation simply was not
comparable to the Japanese on the west coast.  Moreover, the 
likelihood of a German invasion was extremely remote.

Lee Corbin

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