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Communities remember Japanese WWII incarceration on Executive Order 9066 anniversary

On Sunday, Japanese Americans and their allies observed a Day of Remembrance for Japanese American Incarceration.

February 19, marks the 81st anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The White House issued a statement calling the incarceration “one of the most shameful periods in American history.”

George Takei, an actor known for his role in Star Trek, was one of the 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to live in the camps. He is currently starring in Allegiance, a musical about Japanese American internment. On Sunday, he shared a video of remarks made at the show about the Day of Remembrance.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said she was proud of the steps taken to apologize to the Japanese American community.

“I am proud that over three decades ago, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 to formally apologize and provide redress to Japanese Americans who were racially targeted and stripped of their rights. However, we as a nation must continue to recognize this shameful part of our country’s history to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of our past,” she said in a statement.

The Japanese American Citizen League called for solidarity on the Day of Remembrance.

“As we continue into 2023 and beyond, we look back on our triumphs and hardships, as well as our solidarity in the hopes that we can make a change for a better future for all people in this nation. When our country seems more divided than ever, let us stand together and show that the unimaginable tragedies our ancestors suffered are not forgotten and are worthy of our government’s recognition and repair,” the organization said in a statement.

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