Title: "Evacuated Japs Protecting Disloyal, Says Col. Bendetsen," Seattle Times, 6/8/1942, (ddr-densho-56-815)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-815

Evacuated Japs Protecting Disloyal, Says Col. Bendetsen

Despite the fact that many Japanese in this country are known to be disloyal to the United States, not a single Japanese of the 100,000 evacuated from the West Coast has reported disloyalty on the part of another, the Wartime Civil Control Administration reported today.

This attitude was characterized as possibly "a most ominous thing" by Col. Karl R. Bendetsen, assistant chief of staff, Western Defense Command and 4th Army.

"Contrary to other national or race groups," said Colonel Bendetsen, who was in direct charge of the evacuation operation, "the behavior of the Japanese has been such that in not one single instance has any Japanese reported disloyalty on the part of another specific individual of the same race ... I think that this attitude may be, and can be, a most ominous thing."

The W.C.C.A.'s report on the evacuation, now completed, said 99,770 persons of Japanese ancestry were moved from Southern Arizona and a 150-mile strip of Washington, Oregon and California.

17 Centers in Operations

Most of the Japanese now are in 17 assembly centers scattered throughout the region. Others already have been settled in allocation centers in the interior, where they will remain for the duration. Additional relocation centers are being prepared.

Why the evacuation was brought necessary was explained by Lieut. Gen. J.L. De Witt, Western Defense Command commander, in a proclamation stating that the entire Pacific Coast "is particularly subject to attack" and "to espionage and acts of sabotage."

The report said the operation was of value to communities which the Japanese left as it gave residents "a picture of an American Army moving in a democratic way even during the exigencies of war."

Engineers Move Rapidly

"They had a picture of an American Army at work," the report said. "Army engineers building, in 28 days, shelter for nearly 100,000 persons. In addition to shelter, building community kitchens and hospitals, and equipping them, providing devotional and recreational facilities. All this without distraction from the war effort itself and with the use of only a few hundred troops and only a handful of officers."

In regard to the reaction of the Japanese to the migration, the report said:

"The general impression was that the evacuees may not have been doing the thing they liked best to do, but they were doing the best thing they could do under the circumstances, and doing it cheerfully."