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California Set To Formally Apologize For Japanese American Internment

Members of the Mochida family awaiting re-location in Hayward, California, to an internment camp. (Photo by Dorothea Lange/Getty Images)
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On February 19, 1942, just two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066, which forced more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent from their homes and jobs and into internment camps across the West and Arkansas.

Nearly 80 years later, a resolution introduced by State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) would formally apologize for California’s "failure to support and defend the civil rights" of Japanese Americans during that period. State lawmakers are expected to vote on it Thursday.

The federal government apologized for the forced removal of Japanese Americans and granted financial redress to survivors with the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, and the Supreme Court in 2018 overruled an infamous decision that legally upheld internment.

But for some, an apology directly from the Golden State – which was home to nearly three-quarters of the entire Japanese American population by 1940 – is long overdue.

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