Letters to the Editor

The reason was racial

W. Edward Chynoweth's letter [Dec. 10] supporting the forcible relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II rejects racism and discrimination as cause, saying it was done "for sound, responsible reasons." Of the 120,000 men, women and children forced from their homes, 70,000 were American citizens. Some 110,000 were sent to isolated camps surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers. They were not charged with a crime, not indicted, not tried, not found guilty. The only rationale for their treatment was racial -- they were of Japanese ancestry.

Did Mr. Chynoweth forget about the long history of discrimination against Japanese immigrants when, under California law, they could not own property? Why did he not mention that nearly 40% of the population in Hawaii was of Japanese ancestry, but they were not relocated -- and no sabotage or security problem ensued. He certainly forgot that neither the Justice Department nor FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover supported forced relocation of the Japanese.

If this is not enough to refute "security" as a reason for the illegal, immoral and unconstitutional relocation, Mr. Chynoweth should explain why it was necessary to remove Japanese children from orphanages and send them to camp also.

John D. Hix