Title: "Produce Hit, If Japs Are Ousted," Seattle Times, 2/19/1942, (ddr-densho-56-636)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-636


Evacuation of Japanese aliens form the Pacific Coast states undoubtedly would result in a shortage this year of fresh vegetables and berries, produce men said today, but they do not believe the shortag [shortage] would be serious enough to work any great hardship on the consumer.

An actual evacuation, some brokers say, will cause no greater shortage in this area than already is threatened by the talk of evacuation.

Much Grown by Japs

A large percentage of the truck produce and berries, especially strawberries, which find their way into Seattle markets, is grown by alien Japanese. Many of these growers operate on a credit basis. They either borrow from a bank each spring to finance crops or obtain credit from fertilizer, seed and other companies. When crops are sold, accounts are settled.

This year, however, bankers have been chary of making loans and many firms have discontinued credit because of the talk of removal of aliens from the coastal regions, it was declared.

In addition, many Japanese, able to finance their own crops, are not planting because they do not with to invest their funds if they face evacuation before the crops can be harvested.

Land Law Is Help

An American-born Japanese, who is in the produce brokerage business, explained that the situation might become acute if it were not for the state's Alien Land Law.

"Alien Japanese cannot own or lease lad in Washington," he explained. "Those alien Japanese, who are engaged in truck farming, either lease or own their land through American-born children or else work the land on shares for some owner.

"Some aliens have children, who could carry on the produce farming in case the elders are evacuated. Others employ Filipino workers who undoubtedly could continue the business."

Another broker said that no acute shortage should result because other truck farmers have increased acreage greatly this season, in expectation that Japanese aliens might be evacuated.