SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Assembly apologized Thursday for discriminating against Japanese Americans and helping the U.S. government send them to internment camps during World War II.
The Assembly unanimously passed the resolution as several former internees and their families looked on. After the votes, lawmakers gathered at the entrance of the chamber to hug and shake hands with victims, including 96-year-old Kiyo Sato.
Sato said young people need to know about the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps because the U.S. government feared some would side with Japan. The U.S. entered World War II after Japan bombed the Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.
“We need to remind them that this can’t happen again,” Sato said.
The resolution came a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Feb. 19 a Day of Remembrance. That’s the date in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that led to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans across 10 camps in the West and Arkansas.