Letters to the Editor

Letter: Japanese internment

The story on the Japanese internment camps in the July 23 Statesman was rather disingenuous. It did not take into account the collective mentality of those of us who lived during the months and years following Pearl Harbor. I was 13 years old. After Pearl Harbor, the Philippines fell, Wake Island fell, Bataan fell, Malaysia fell, Singapore fell: the Japanese armies were advancing across China, Burma and Indonesia. The U.S. Navy was crippled by Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Army was totally unprepared and lacking in numbers, equipment and ability. There was a real fear on the West Coast of a Japanese invasion. Japanese residents, citizens and non-citizens did not integrate well: they kept to themselves and were something of an enigma. People imagined that they would welcome Japanese troops if they invaded. As it turned out those fears were unfounded. But people did not know that then.

Charles Hoppins, Boise