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U.S. Report Absolved Japanese Americans

March 12, 2001

I read "A Provocative Defense of America's WWII's Internment Camps" (March 7) with great interest. Unmentioned in the review of David Lowman's defense of the Japanese internment camps was the little-known Munson Report. The Munson Report was a document based on a thorough study conducted by the U.S. government, prior to Pearl Harbor, to determine whether the Japanese population on the West Coast would be a possible threat to U.S. security in the event Japan entered the war. It concluded definitively that there was complete loyalty of the Japanese American population to the government and the citizens of the United States and that the Japanese community (most of whom were American citizens) posed absolutely no risk to the U.S.

When the government made its decision to issue Executive Order 9066, which led to evacuating 112,000 men, women and children from their homes on the West Coast, this report was totally ignored. A copy of this document hangs on the wall in the Japanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles--just a room or two away from a reconstructed Manzanar Camp barrack.

ROBERTA B. GILLERMAN

Los Angeles

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