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Letter to the Editor

By June 7, 2024June 26th, 2024No Comments

Dear Editor,

A letter in P.C. issue 3453 (May 24-June 6, 2024) asks JACL to fulfill the obligations created by the resolution of apology to the Tule Lake resisters. For the reasons stated herein, additional information is required before JACL can do that. The resolution does not make clear to whom JACL is to give the apology. The apology is surely not intended to be given to the entire TLSC population. The resolution recognizes that some of the TLSC prisoners had committed violent acts of resistance and dissent. JACL has an obligation to develop guidelines as to who is to receive the apology before it is given.

The resolution also requires the National Education Committee to include the narrative of Tule Lake Segregation Center (TLSC) in the curriculum guide: However, the resolution itself asserts incomplete or inaccurate information about TLSC that must be vetted before being inserted into the curriculum guide.

For example, the resolution asserts that all persons who resisted the loyalty questionnaire in any was “summarily” sent to TLSC. This is incorrect. For every person who put himself or herself into one of the categories that would label the person as “disloyal,” the WRA provided an administrative hearing to ensure that the individual understood the consequences of his or her decision. Each was given the opportunity to change his or her answer. A written transcript was taken of each hearing.

At the National Archives in Washington, D.C., a WRA file is still kept for each adult imprisoned at the camps. Each file contains each internee’s loyalty questionnaire and the written transcript of the hearing of those sent to TLSC.

To provide a better understanding of why each adult person choose to be sent to TLSC, the best source is each person’s own words expressed at the time. This is a unique opportunity for JACL to initiate or endorse a research project to review the files of each adult person imprisoned at TLSC and to create a registry to catalog each person’s reasons.

Until the individuals who should receive the apology are identified by JACL and the correct information about TLSC is inserted into JACL’s curriculum guide, JACL must continue to defer the public ceremony to give any apology to the Tule Lake resisters.


Gerald Yamada