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28A.300.380  <<  28A.300.390 >>   28A.300.395

RCW 28A.300.390

Kip Tokuda memorial Washington civil liberties public education program — Findings.

The legislature finds that:

     (1) In order to adequately prepare our youth for their meaningful participation in our democratic institutions and processes, there must be strong educational resources aimed at teaching students and the public about the fragile nature of our constitutional rights.

     (2) The federal commission on wartime relocation and internment of civilians was established by congress in 1980 to review the facts and circumstances surrounding executive order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942, and the impact of the executive order on American citizens and permanent residents, and to recommend appropriate remedies.

     The commission of [on] wartime relocation and internment of civilians issued a report of its findings in 1983 with the reports "Personal Justice Denied" and "Personal Justice Denied-Part II, Recommendations." The reports were based on information gathered through twenty days of hearings in cities across the country, particularly the west coast. Testimony was heard from more than seven hundred fifty witnesses, including evacuees, former government officials, public figures, interested citizens, historians, and other professionals who have studied the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

     (3) The lessons to be learned from the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II are embodied in "Personal Justice Denied-Part II, Recommendations" which found that executive order 9066 was not justified by military necessity, and the decisions that followed from it were not founded upon military considerations. These decisions included the exclusion and detention of American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese descent. The broad historical causes that shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. Widespread ignorance about Americans of Japanese descent contributed to a policy conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger at Japan. A grave personal injustice was done to the American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them were excluded, removed, and detained by the United States during World War II.

     (4) A grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II. These actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any documented acts of espionage or sabotage, and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. The excluded individuals of Japanese ancestry suffered enormous damages, both material and intangible, and there were incalculable losses in education and job training, all of which resulted in significant human suffering for which appropriate compensation has not been made. For these fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights of these individuals of Japanese ancestry, the United States congress apologized on behalf of the nation in the federal civil liberties act of 1988.

[2000 c 210 § 1.]