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Japanese Americans Remember

Fred T. Korematsu Day

campnineToday, January 30, Japanese Americans commemorate the life of Fred T. Korematsu, a civil rights advocate who challenged the internment of Japanese American citizens by the U. S government during World War II. Korematsu was interned in a camp in Utah following the passage of Executive Order 9066 which required that all Japanese American citizens be removed from their homes and sent to internment camps as a military security measure. Korematsu sued the government and lost. He spent the rest of his life advocating for fair treatment and redress for Japanese American internees. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed a special commission to investigate the internment. The commission concluded that the decisions to remove those of Japanese ancestry to prison camps occurred because of "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" Many books have been written about this chapter of U.S. history, including historical fiction such as Camp Nine by Vivienne Schiffer, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka.