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Expatriation and Repatriation

At the end of World War II, 4,724 Americans of Japanese ancestry were sent directly to Japan from the permanent War Relocation Authority camps. Within this group, 1,659 were resident aliens; 1,949 were American citizens, and all but 100 of these were children under the age of 20.

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"My sister and I were enrolled in a Japanese school in preparation for our eventual expatriation to Japan. Our teachers were generally pro-Japan and taught us not only how to read and write in Japanese but also to be proud as Japanese. Their goals were to teach us to be good Japanese so that we would not be embarrassed when we got to Japan." —Japanese American student, Source unknown

"And Tule Lake started wasshoi-wasshoi ('an exercise chant') running for exercise. About the summer of 1944, there were these seinendans ('young men's groups') beginning to form, and every morning in groups, they would do wasshoi-wasshoi. That to us was a very political thing — pro-Japan. That's understandable, considering they committed themselves to no-no..." —Ben Takeshita, And Justice for All

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A total of 1,116 adult Nisei also renounced their American citizenship. As Edward Ennis of the Department of Justice remembered: "They threw their citizenship back at us." The federal courts later ruled that the renunciations had been given under duress and were therefore void.

Frank K.: What Would You do in Japan? (oral history transcript)

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LOYALTY: The Questionnaire | Segregation | Expatriation and Repatriation | The Draft

Smithsonian - National Museum of American History - Behring Center