‘A tragic time’; local Japanese Americans say state lawmaker’s internment apology is needed

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – California’s legislature unanimously approved a resolution offering an apology to the victims of Japenese internment for the state’s role in aiding the U.S. government’s policy. The resolution also condemned actions that helped fan anti-Japanese discrimination.

Fujie Robesky remembers being in an internment camp during the Second World War. She believes the apology is needed.

“My father was labeled an enemy combatant and he was an American Citizen. We were being incarcerated,” said Fujie.

Fujie, her sisters, and her mother were sent to an internment camp and had only had days to prepare.

“You can only take what you could carry that was it so whatever suitcase you had that was it,” said Fujie.

Fujie said being in an internment camp affected her life. After they were released, her father lost his farm and they had to start over.

“My parents work as laborers after the war. He had his own farm before,” said Fujie.

Dan Cady is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Fresno State. Cady said the internment was brought on after the attack on Pearl Harbor and, following their release, 75% of Japanese Americans released who were interned lost their farms.

“They came into being directly after the beginning of World War Two in the United States where the United States Government questioned the loyalty of Japanese American citizens,” said Cady. 

Morgan Doizaki is the owner of Central Fish Company in Fresno’s Chinatown. He said his grandparents were sent to the internment camps.

“No one really talked about it much in the Japanese community until people my age started to ask a lot of questions,” said Doizaki.

Doizaki said this apology is one step in the right direction after years of wrongdoing. 

“This was a tragic time during the war.”

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