Browsing Tag

WWII

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San Diego officially apologizes for supporting Japanese American incarceration during WWII

Japanese American concentration camps
  • The San Diego City Council officially apologized to the Japanese American community and passed a resolution that rescinded Resolution 76068 on Tuesday.
  • “The Council of the City of San Diego apologizes to all people of Japanese ancestry for its past actions in support of the unjust exclusion, removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americas [sic] and residents of Japanese ancestry during World War II, and for its failure to support and defend the civil rights and civil liberties of these individuals during this period,” the apology read.
  • Resolution 76068, which ordered the FBI to forcibly remove residents of Japanese descent from the county and transfer them to the 10 concentration camps in the western part of the U.S., came into effect after then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066 (E.O. 9066) on Feb. 19, 1942.
  • More than 120,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and transferred to the concentration camps in the western U.S. and Arkansas weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Among those were 1,900 San Diego residents of Japanese descent.
  • “It is incredibly important that we identify the racist acts of the past and injustices of the past and address them head-on,” Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said. “We can acknowledge the wrong that the city committed.”

San Diego officially apologized and announced the revocation of a 1942 resolution that supported the incarceration of many Japanese Americans during World War II.

Council members on Tuesday acknowledged the city’s racist past when it imprisoned more than 1,900 San Diego County residents of Japanese descent in the concentration camps in the western United States and Arkansas during WWII.

Japanese American National Museum premieres cancer-battling director’s film on pains of WWII incarceration camps

NO NO GIRL
  • Written and directed by Paul Daisuke Goodman, “No No Girl” centers on a Japanese American family uncovering their forgotten history in the incarceration camps of World War II.
  • Goodman, 30, developed the film thinking about his own grandfather, who was incarcerated at the Rohwer Camp in Arkansas and later enlisted in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
  • Goodman worked on the film while battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which he was diagnosed with in 2016.
  • The film, which stars newcomer Mika Dyo, Academy Award winner Chris Tashima and an ensemble of Japanese American talent, premiered at the Japanese American National Museum on Saturday.

A film about a Japanese American family uncovering their forgotten history in the incarceration camps of World War II premiered at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo on Saturday.

Written and directed by Paul Daisuke Goodman, “No No Girl” stars newcomer Mika Dyo and Academy Award winner Chris Tashima, along with an ensemble of Japanese American talent.

PM Kishida vows Japan will never again wage war as China, S. Korea condemn visits to Yasukuni Shrine

japanese pm
  • During a ceremony on Monday for the 77th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed to “never again repeat the horrors of war.”
  • The anniversary is traditionally marked by visits to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates those who died in service of Japan, including 14 wartime leaders who were convicted as war criminals.
  • Although Kishida did not visit the shrine, he reportedly sent an offering instead while three of his Cabinet members visited.
  • The visits, which have sparked disputes, are viewed by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
  • South Korean officials have expressed “deep disappointment” towards what they believe beautifies Japan’s past invasions, while Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wengbin urged Japan to “deeply reflect” on its history and to gain the trust of its Asian neighbors by acting responsibly.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed his country would never again wage war during a ceremony on the anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat.  

In Kishida’s first address since taking office in October, he promised Japan would “never again repeat the horrors of war” at a somber ceremony on Monday which marked the 77th anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender.

Japan payment of less than $1 to Korean WWII victims for forced labor draws outrage

  • A civic group in South Korea has denounced the less- than- one- dollar pension payment from the Japanese government to victims of forced labor during its occupation of the peninsula.
  • The Japanese Forced Mobilization Civic Group called the payment “a malicious ridicule and an insult” at a press conference on Thursday.
  • A 92-year-old forced labor victim by the name of Chung Sin-young also spoke at the conference, calling Japan’s behavior “absurd.”
  • While presenting the deposit information in her passbook, Chung said, “They gave me 931 won, which cannot even cover the cost of children’s snacks. They forced children into labor without providing proper meals, and they still have not apologized.”
  • She continued, “There isn’t much time left for us grandmothers. We urge you to hurry and apologize.”

The Japanese government has doled out a pension payment to victims of forced labor during the country’s occupation of Korea, but at less than $1 per individual, the move has only prompted further outrage from those affected.  

The Japanese Forced Mobilization Civic Group denounced the pension payment on Thursday, claiming a number of victims of forced labor received only 931 won (approximately $0.74). The civic group said the payment was “a malicious ridicule and an insult” and urged the Japanese government to “apologize for the 931 won payment and disclose all unpaid wages and pension records of victims of forced labor.”

UK government admits to forcibly deporting Chinese sailors who served the nation in WWII

  • An investigation conducted by the United Kingdom's Home Office revealed that Chinese sailors who served in the British Merchant Navy during World War II were forcibly deported.
  • Based on the findings of the 22-page report, sailors who had married and had children with women in Liverpool were deported without notice.
  • During the period, the Chinese sailors and other foreign men who married British women were not given a legal path or opportunity to live in the U.K.
  • The Home Office investigation comes over a year after a parliamentary debate on the matter was raised by opposition lawmaker Kim Johnson.
  • According to Johnson, the report “debunks the myth parroted by successive British governments that these repatriations were all voluntary. The conspiracy between the state and the shipping companies to maintain a cheap pool of labor along racial lines is in many ways the story of empire, and the story of Liverpool."

Chinese sailors who served in the United Kingdom’s Merchant Navy during World War II were forcibly deported by the government, its own Home Office has admitted in its investigation.

According to the department’s 22-page report about the deportations, some of the sailors who had built their families in Liverpool, England, were separated from their wives and children without warning. 

Families of 11 Filipino WWII vets receive Congressional Gold Medal after 76-year wait for recognition

  • The names of 11 Filipino World War II veterans were read and recognized at a ceremony held at the Filipino Community Center in Honolulu on Monday.
  • Family members of the veterans received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, one of America’s highest honors. The medal is said to honor the sacrifice of more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers who fought for America from 1941 to 1946 when the Philippines was a U.S. colony.
  • The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project has conferred about 3,000 medals since 2017. They are also working with schools to share the stories of Filipino American war heroes.
  • Filipino advocates continue to fight for the benefits the veterans are entitled to, including compensation and citizenship.

The families of 11 Filipino World War II veterans were awarded with one of America’s highest honors to recognize the soldiers who fought for the nation more than 76 years ago.  

The names of 11 Filipino World War II veterans were read and recognized at a ceremony held at the Filipino Community Center in Honolulu on Monday. 

Lone Chinese American Ranger who stormed Omaha on D-Day to receive second Congressional Gold Medal

chinese ranger
  • Former Private 1st Class Randall Ching, who was part of the famed 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion that stormed the Omaha Beach during the Battle of Normandy on June 6, 1944, is set to be awarded his second Congressional Gold Medal.
  • Known for his knife-fighting ability and marksmanship, the 97-year-old veteran served with the 5th Ranger Battalion from his deployment at Omaha Beach until the end of the war in Oct. 1945.
  • Ching was awarded his first Congressional Gold Medal in Dec. 2020 after Congress recognized the patriotism and service of the estimated 20,000 Chinese Americans who fought under the American flag during World War II.
  • Ching will receive his second medal via a new bill awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to the Army Rangers of World War II.
  • Ching is set to join a short list of individuals who have received two Congressional Gold Medals that include Gen. Winfield Scott, Gen. and President Zachary Taylor, polar explorer Lincoln Ellsworth and Adm. Hyman G. Rickover.

Former Private 1st Class Randall Ching, of the famed 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion that landed on Omaha Beach during the Battle of Normandy, is set to be awarded his second Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States.

Ching, 97, is believed to be the only person of Chinese descent among the nearly 7,000 rangers who fought in World War II.

Statue of comfort girl in hanbok scheduled to reappear in Tokyo despite previous backlash

Comfort woman statu FI
  • The “After ‘freedom of expression?’” exhibition, which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue that was taken down from “Aichi Tirennale” in 2019 following threats the festival received for displaying it.
  • Comfort women, of whom there were hundreds of thousands – majority Korean — were subjected by the Japanese government to sex slavery for its soldiers during World War II.
  • The statue features a young, barefoot girl sitting in her hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, looking ahead with a calm and quiet gaze, not smiling.
  • Statues depicting these comfort women have been a heated point of controversy between Japan and South Korea.
  • When South Korea erected a comfort women statue outside the Japanese consulate in Busan in 2017, Japan recalled two of its ambassadors to South Korea in protest.

Despite protest and outrage, a previously removed statue commemorating World War II’s comfort women will be back up in April at a gallery in Tokyo.

An exhibition titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’,” which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue originally featured at the 2019 Aichi Tirennale festival.

Axis Abroad, Racism at Home: The Enemies Japanese American Soldiers Faced in WWII

Japanese American soldiers

The U.S. Postal Service is releasing a new stamp in honor of Japanese American soldiers who served during World War II — an army of 33,000 men and women whose battle for identity stretched beyond the period of defeating Axis forces.

The stamp, designed by Antonio Alcalá, shows a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which, along with the 100th Infantry Battalion, became the most decorated military unit in U.S. history.