Title: Testimony of Victor H. Kihara, (denshopd-i67-00267)
Densho ID: denshopd-i67-00267

July 21, 1981

TO: The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians

My name is Victor H. Kihara, age 43, living at __________ Bellevue WA. I am a business executive and a registered voter.

I was a young boy when our family was forcibly shipped off to the Minedoka concentration camp in the Idaho desert. This Commission is by now familiar with the hardships suffered by Japanese-American citizens at camps such as Minedoka. You have heard terms such as injustice and racial bigotry used to describe the relocation process. Anything I might add would probably be redundant, for all our experiences had a tragic similarity to them.

Instead, I would respectfully ask a question which is actually directed to our government: What is going to be done about this past outrage against U.S. citizens and their families?

Apologies come cheap, especially from governments. Rhetoric and proclamations do not sufficiently compensate us for the blinding dust storms, tar-paper shacks, loss of property and livlihood, and the destruction of our American dreams.

I believe that the government should compensate each victim with a Treasury check, for the maximum amount requested by our representatives, paid without undue delay. Let generous financial compensation be a reminder to the faceless bureaucrats in Washington D.C. that our government is indeed responsible for its actions; that unjust treatment of its citizens will result in penalties to the government; that after all, we citizens are and were entitled to basic rights that our forefathers considered inviolable. To take away a citizen's rights in the arbitrary manner of the relocation authorities is the most serious act that a government can perpetrate upon its citizens.

I would like to thank this Commission for its efforts in helping the American people understand the tragedy behind relocation, and I hope that its work will be instrumental in preventing similar

[Page 2]

occurences to other citizens in the future.

Thank you.


Victor H. Kihara